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Posted on: August 9, 2018

Library’s Work to Offer Classes for English Language Learners Recognized

Student writing notes

The Sioux Center Public Library is being recognized in a report by the American Libraries Association for their work with a grant program that supports services for adult English language learners.

Local library staff led efforts to partner with Northwest Iowa Community College to offer ESL courses at Sioux Center Public Library several times a week. The college provides the instructor, while the library provides the space, and the materials for the courses. The library was able to purchase the materials after being awarded dollars from the ALA’s American Dream grant.

Library staff also drew enough interest in the Spanish GED to convince Northwest Iowa Community College to teach those courses at the library, as well.

"Our missions are, at the heart, the same,” Ruth Mahaffy, bilingual services librarian says. “Together we can do more than we can do on our own. We both want to help people increase their literacy and fulfill their dreams. The American Dream grant we received gives people this opportunity.”

Students of this program have earned their diplomas and found local employment. Several former students have even gone on to get their associate’s degrees through Northwest Iowa Community College.

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