Tatiana Achcar: Ready to educate
January 14, 2010
To the editor:
On Jan. 6, Mr. Francisco Reina wrote a short letter to the editor of the Craig Daily Press expressing his disappointment with Integrated Community's Adult English as a Second Language Program. This text is a response to Mr. Reina and all other Craig residents who shared their diverse points of view.
Thank you for expressing your opinions; by doing so you support a vibrant democracy.
However, clarification is essential among so much misinformation. The name of our program — an industry standard — implies that participants come from a geographical, educational and/or social upbringing that did not use English as a primary language.
An example is people born outside of the United States, such as Mr. Reina, himself, who first learned Spanish, then Sicilian and English. Hence, the terminology "second" describes the order of acquisition of a language, not preference, importance or a political argument pertaining to the worthiness of the English language.
Integrated Community's Adult ESL Program is quite a wonderful sight to the eyes, and we invite everyone to come see for themselves.
We offer English classes to adults, many of whom are employed, raise children who attend schools, pay taxes, spend money to support the local economy, go to church and are dedicated family members. Participants are self-sufficient, resilient and astute residents of Craig, who desire to integrate and contribute to its community through better English skills.
Participants pay for their classes and books and no funding for this program originates from taxpayers.
As a matter of policy, Integrated Community does not inquire about the immigration status of anyone who comes to learn, and to become a self-sufficient and contributing member of society. Furthermore, as an educational, cultural and referral entity, we do not endorse any particular political view or legislation and do not engage in lobbying or law enforcement.
Integrated Community makes a deliberate choice — as many of you do — to promote unity, respect, growth, compassion, honesty, good work ethics, appreciation for and celebration of all people.
To this effect, we invite everyone to our next bimonthly Community United meeting, brown bag style (bring your own lunch please), at noon Feb. 4, at the Craig Fire Station. We will offer more information on our ESL program, and have an open dialogue on related topics.
Thank you, Craig, for your continuous support of our work.
Integrated Community executive director