The City of Westfield is reaching out to its Hispanic population through English as a Second Language classes. The free classes occur from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday and are offered through the Westfield Parks and Recreation Dept.
Classes are held downtown in the parks department’s Main Street Programming Center at 330 E. Main St.
“What we are most excited about is the new friends we are making, relationships are forming and most importantly, trust is being given,” said Cheri Davis, an instructor with the program.
Davis is an early literacy teacher at Monon Trail Elementary School.
“One of my passions in life is to teach adults English. I have met some amazing adults who work extremely hard to learn English, and in turn, have taught me so much more about life,” she said.
The ESL program started in May with five participants. Since that time, attendance has grown to five times that size.
“It varies on everyone’s schedule,” Westfield Parks Program Coordinator Brittany Goger said. “It’s grown quite a bit and it only continues to grow.”
Goger said the program is about building connections.
“There was an interest by a group wanting to get involved to reach out to Hispanic residents,” she said. “It’s more than just a class. People are getting plugged into the community. It helps them get settled in and feel like a Westfield resident.”
Goger said the class is divided into different classrooms based on skill level with several volunteers for each group. Participants take an assessment test to determine their level.
“No matter which group our students are in, it is vital for each student to understand they are valued and important for the gifts they have inside of them and the desire to learn a new language,” Davis said.
Goger said the program will continue through the rest of the year.
“The people who volunteer have pretty big hearts,” she said. “They see the need. The city sees the need and can provide the resources to make it happen.”
Those interested in attending are encouraged to sign up online at www.westfield.in.gov/parks, which can be translated to Spanish.
“We’re trying to make registering as simple as possible,” Goger said. “Or they can just attend class at any point and fill out the registration form.”
For more information, contact Goger at 804-3183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.