Alton, TX – 43 students learning English through LUPE’s Programa Escalera received an incentive to continue their study of the English language this Saturday, when representatives from the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME, according to its Spanish initials) awarded them scholarships for their hard work. The Coordinator of IME, Claudia Trujillo, distributed the scholarships of $150 to each student, recognizing the dedication of the students to better themselves in the country they are making their own.
LUPE’s English as a Second Language program teaches simple, survival communication skills in English. Attaining basic English skills leads to a more complete integration of the individual into the broader society. Moreover, by understanding basic English, parents can interact more effectively with governmental authorities (such as those in the school system), and can respond more effectively to the numerous communications they may receive.
Organizer Martha Sanchez was pleased to be able to recognize the hard work of our students. “The dedication that our students show to learning the English language,” said Sanchez, “is testament to the fact that immigrants want to learn English. They know that learning English is the only way they will be able to stay competitive in their new country. These scholarships make it a little easier for them to stick to it.”
The demand for ESL classes nation-wide is high, further debunking the myth that immigrants do not want to learn English. A 2006 survey by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials found that in 12 states, 60 percent of the free English programs had waiting lists, ranging from a few months in Colorado and Nevada to as long as two years in New Mexico and Massachusetts.
LUPE has ESL class at all five centers and is always open to new students.
The scholarship award ceremony took place at LUPE’s Alton office, located at 201 West Main Ave, on Saturday December 4th at 6pm.