CNCC Teaches adults to ‘Read for Life’ |

CNCC Teaches adults to ‘Read for Life’

English as a second language classes begin today at area community college

Lee Harstad

“Read for Life” and Colorado Northwestern Community College-Craig (CNCC-Craig) English as a second language (ESL) classes begin today. The program involves literacy tutoring and ESL classes offered to adults.

The program has been serving Craig since 1983 and offers free literacy tutor training for volunteers and ESL classes at three different levels.

The literacy portion of the program involves the training of tutors in adult literacy and these tutors reach out to the community to offer their services.

Tutors help adults who have a seventh-grade reading level or less and the schedule is dependent on the tutor and the student.

Karen Bowen, Read for Life coordinator, has been heading the program for almost a year and believes the program is a boost for the entire community.

“We have a variety of volunteers,” said Brown. “From teachers to local business owners and people from all walks of life. They are people with free time who wanted to give back to the community.”

Bowen also said this program has been cleared to become an organization that can receive United Way funding. This means donations given through United Way could provide direct funding to the Read for Life and CNCC-Craig English as a second language program because donors can specify as to which program they want to donate.

The ESL group meets twice a week, Monday and Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and there are 30 students in the class. During class sessions, the program also offers free child care.

The main supporter of the program is CNCC-Craig. The program is housed on the campus and is allowed to use CNCC-Craig equipment. This also benefits people in the Read for Life program because, upon completion of the program, students are able to prepare for the general education diploma (GED) test on the campus.

The program is funded through a grant under the Clinton administration entitled the Work Force Investment Act which is routed through the Department of Adult Education at the Colorado Department of Education.