NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The city library will be unveiling an English for beginner's program, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the American Library Association (ALA).
ALA officials announced New Brunswick's grant in a Jan. 26 press statement, along with 19 other libraries across the country. New Jersey's only other library to get the grant was the Princeton Public Library.
Currently, the library offers English conversation groups and English conversation cafes, according to Bob Belvin,the library's director. The programs are geared towards adults who are learning English as a Second Language (ESL).
But those require a certain level of proficiency in the English language, so anyone with no English skills is more or less barred from taking part.
"We tried out with a volunteer, a spin-off, which was ESL conversation groups for beginners, people who were just learning English, and that was very successful," Belvin said. "So we decided to expand the program."
With the grant money, the library will be able to provide staff and materials for ESL beginner students, according to Kvita Pandey, a librarian and the literacy coordinator for ESL services.
The goal is to start promoting the program in February, according to Pandey, with classes beginning in March.
"This is all initial stages," Pandey said.
If you do find yourself in need of some practice sessions to tune up your English skills, the library's free conversation sessions are available multiple times every week.