LaGuardia Community College Celebrates English Language Learners and their School-Aged Children

LONG ISLAND CITY, NY (May 23, 2023) — LaGuardia Community College/CUNY hosted a celebration for English language learners, recognizing their dedication and hard work towards becoming independent, empowered citizens of New York City. Approximately 100 students from LaGuardia’s English and Immigrant Family Literacy Program attended the celebration with their school-aged children. Activities included arts and crafts workshops led by staff from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the New York Historical Society, and the Rubin Museum of Art. The Fresh Air initiative shared summer camp opportunities and Make The Groove dance troop closed the night with a dance workshop. The event, themed “Growing Together,” was held on May 12.

The English and Immigrant Family Literacy Program is an initiative of LaGuardia’s Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET). It serves English language learners—mostly recent immigrants—who have children in NYC public schools and their school-aged children. English as a Second Language curriculum is contextualized to parent engagement, e.g., understanding NYC Department of Education systems, reading report cards, attending parent-teacher conferences, and using learning resources. The program is provided tuition-free, thanks to continuous support from the New York State Education Department for nearly 20 years.

“CIET’s English and Immigrant Family Literacy Program benefits entire families. It breaks down barriers and empowers immigrant parents to advocate for their children at school, to provide homework support at home, and to become lifelong learners. It also connects families to NYC organizations for resources and support services,” said Kenneth Adams, President of LaGuardia Community College.

The majority of CIET English and Immigrant Family Literacy Program participants are women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Approximately 95% are Hispanic/Latino. Students often enter with basic English skills, and typically stay in the program between 12–18 months as they advance from beginner to intermediate levels.

“The celebration, which we called Family Night, was an opportunity for us to honor our student-parents for their accomplishments and gave them a well-deserved break from all the hard work they’ve been doing to learn English. We hope they made fun memories with their children, and new connections and community with their fellow students,” said Paula DaSilva-Michelin, Director of LaGuardia’s Center for Immigrant Education & Training.

Students from LaGuardia’s Fine Arts program volunteered to provide face painting at the event. Additional LaGuardia student interns helped to run the workshops.

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LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), a Hispanic-Serving Institution, located in Long Island City, Queens offers more than 50 degrees and certificates, and more than 65 continuing education programs to educate New Yorkers seeking new skills and careers. As an institution of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his advocacy of underserved populations. Since 1971, LaGuardia’s academic programs and support services have advanced the socioeconomic mobility of students while providing them with access to a high quality, affordable college education.


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