September 2013 Student of the Month

Our first University Settlement Adult Literacy Program Student of the Month for the 2013-2014 school year is Zhang Qiao Zhuang, also known as Grace Zhang. This is Grace’s third year in our program, and she has been selected as Student of the Month because she has achieved the following things:

1. Improved her English.

2. Gotten more involved in her children’s education.

3. Earned the National Work Readiness Credential.

4. Had her writing published in NYU Gallatin’s Literacy Review.

5. Earned her GED (General Equivalency Diploma).

Watch a video interview with her above, read a piece of her writing below, then take a quiz to test your comprehension.

Congratulations, Grace!

MoMA Mia

Grace Zhang

Last Friday, our writing class went on a trip to MoMA. I am not too excited about the arts, but since everything was arranged by our teacher, June, and her students, we took the time to relax and “smell the flowers.”

We met in the big and bright lobby. I observed two of my classmates were not there yet. I noticed I had one of their phone numbers, so I called immediately. Ally told me on the phone that she was seriously sick. I was too busy thinking about what to do next to ask about her sickness, and then I asked her for Liang’s phone number. I called Liang right after I got the number from Ally. Liang told me she was on the wrong train and would be late. I have recently

got to know Liang is quite a carefree person, but anyway, she is cute. I reported these situations to June. I don’t remember when I started to be this type of person; I never used to be so active.

We had a photo taken before the tour started. I couldn’t find my spot. I was scared about whether I was blocking someone. I was considering whether I would bend my knees or not. My knees naturally reflected what I was thinking, and they bent. As soon as the shot finished, I heard Ling Ling’s voice. With her hand lying on my shoulder, she said, like an older sister, “Why do you always hide somewhere; you should stand next to me!”

“Okay, I’ll do that next time,” I replied with a smile. I myself had considered this a second ago. I don’t quite know myself now. I choose to be a follower of my heart, wherever it goes.

The tour was wonderful. We were introduced to a few paintings of famous artists. I believe that my classmates who love art will write more about this, so I am going to move on to write about something else.

What I enjoyed most was the lunch in the museum. We were generously treated by NYU Gallatin. After learning so much about art in the exhibition rooms, everything became art in the dining room. June inspired us to talk about what we just saw. I asked myself, Is writing art? I was starting to compose pieces of writing in my brain already.  I burst out, “Art is in my heart, art is expressing yourself.” I would like to keep this feeling in my heart forever.

June told us she had to leave before us. I was going to shout, “You made my day!” However, I held it in because I wasn’t sure that this art of expressing from heart was grammatically correct.


Humans of New York

Our last post was about the variety of students we have in our Adult Literacy Program. In this post we will look at the variety of people that make up New York City. New York City remains one of the most exciting and diverse cities on the planet and it’s the people that make it that way. Humans of New York is a website that documents everyday New Yorkers, like YOU! Check out it’s website and Facebook.  The photographer takes portraits of New Yorkers he sees and briefly interviews them. You get to learn a little bit about that stranger you see on the subway, the person in front of you in line, your neighbors, your fellow New Yorkers. Let us know what interesting people you find in the comments sections.


You can see more Humans of New York here and here

We Are From…


University Settlement Adult Literacy Program students and staff are from 27 different countries!:





The Dominican Republic



El Salvador











South Korea







The United States


Idiom of the Week: Go the Extra Mile


Meaning: To give extra effort; to do more than is expected or necessary.


If you want to get a good tip, you need to go the extra mile.

My teacher really went the extra mile to help us, and our English improved a lot.

He always goes the extra mile for his friends – whenever they need help, he is there to help them.


Pop Quiz:

You want to improve your English. You would be going the extra mile if you…

A.  only did the required homework.

B.  only spoke your first language outside of class.

C.  practiced speaking English for two hours every day after class.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Read More »

Free Flu Shots


Protect Yourself: Get a Flu Shot

University Settlement in partnership with Beth Israel Medical Center – Karpas Health Information Center, is hosting a Flu Clinic for ADULTS (18 & older) for one day only.  If you have yet to receive a flu shot please come and get vaccinated this season.

Date: November 13, 2013

Time: 11:00 – 3:00 pm

Location: University Settlement at the Houston Street Center, 273 Bowery, New York, NY  10002


Please call us at 212-475-5008 to register today. 

If you have any questions, please contact the telephone number above