Every couple years we publish a collection of writing from our Advanced Writing Class taught by NYU Gallatin Professor June Foley. Our latest collection is called Remember, and it’s full of stories and poems about NYC, technology, family, art, and the pandemic. Here’s a sample for you:

Counting Hours
Mariana Lemos Duarte

I am not sure why this memory returned.
Maybe because of the silence in the street,
Or because of the fear dancing in the air,
Or because of the sun that insistently
       invades the floor of my kitchen.

When I was a girl, I used to count the hours.

I used to wake up early just to have more hours to do nothing.
I used to sit on the top of my bunk bed just to have
       a different point of view of things.
I used to look out the window to find the Cristo Redentor.
I used to stop whatever I was doing just to see the sunset.

Now, I always have an unfinished task on my to-do list.
And these billions of incomplete to-do tasks grow in a way so
       fast and deep that I lose the joy of doing nothing,
And these billions of incomplete to-do tasks grow in a way
       so fast and deep that I forget to look at things from a
       different perspective.
And these billions of incomplete to-do tasks grow in a way
       so fast and deep that I find myself thinking: Why does
       the sunset take so long?

Suddenly the time goes so fast that I lose
       the ability to count it.

Stop! The world has stopped
To remind me of those days
When I used to count the hours.

To read more, click here.

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Online Reading Club for English Learners!


From the New York Public Library:

Are you beginning to read stories in English? Do you need more practice?

Come join other ESOL students this fall to practice your reading online! We will take turns reading aloud together from two or three books.

You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. The link will be sent to you by email approximately one day before the discussion. You will need a device with audio and/or video and an internet connection to join.

  • Friday, October 16, 2020, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Friday, October 30, 2020, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

End times are approximate. Events may end early or late.

Click here to register!

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Student Orientation!!!

Starting on Saturday we will begin student orientation and classes – online! Click on the links below to go to the info you’ll need as a new student at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program:

Click here if you are in a Daytime Class (Monday-Thursday, 9-11 am or 11 am-1 pm)

Click here if you are in an Evening Class (Tuesday-Thursday, 6:30-9 pm)

Click here if you are in a Weekend Class (Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 am-12:30 pm)

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Teacher Orientation!!!

We just wrapped up two days of teacher orientation, and there’s proof of it in the screenshot above. We have four new teachers and the rest of them are returning teachers. Our class offerings this year include 12 daytime classes, 5 evening classes, 3 weekend classes plus 2 elective classes. In our orientation we talked about Zoom, Google Classroom, Ventures Presentation Plus, classroom management, lesson planning, and a whole host of other things! I think I speak for all of us when I say that it was both fun and informative.

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Summer’s Almost Gone!

Well, it’s been one heck of a summer here at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program. We’ve wrapped up our summer electives classes, which included 5 different Conversation Clubs and a Culture Club – a mosaic of them can be seen above.

Now we’re in the thick of online registration for the 2020-21 school year and our classes are slowly filling up! We’re going to start online but once Mean Old Mr. Covid gets under control we’re going to resume in-person classes.

To register for free English classes, click here!

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Speaking at City Hall

Yesterday two University Settlement Adult Literacy Program students, Jie Ling and Ivan, along with one staff member, Mayra, spoke at City Hall in support of more funding for adult literacy programs in NYC. They spoke before the City Council Committee on Education chaired by Mark Treyger.

Here is Ivan’s testimony:

Testimony for the Committee on Education Oversight Hearing 2/26/2020

Ivan, Student at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program

Good afternoon everyone. First of all, thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak with you today. We really appreciate it. My name is Ivan. I’m from Madrid, Spain. I’m a Network Engineer and Project Manager, but I’m also a student at University Settlement. I’ve been living in New York for almost 6 months. I had studied English in my country for many years so I thought the language wouldn’t be a problem for me here. Obviously, I was wrong. Since the moment I arrived, I realized that my English wasn’t as good as I thought.

This situation made me feel insecure, worried and overwhelmed. But after a few days handling this feeling, I found information on the internet about free English classes at University Settlement. Then everything changed. University Settlement gave me the opportunity to attend their College and Career Readiness class, where I can learn and practice English in an international environment with a great teacher and staff who are always willing to help us as much as possible. Ever since, I continue improving my English skills every day and I feel more confident speaking the language. Thanks to this, I was recently accepted into the Cooper Union Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers.

The bottom line is that these classes help students like me to apply for better jobs with good salaries, pay more taxes, be more productive in the community and be able to communicate better with every citizen in this wonderful city. Learning English is synonymous with improving our lives and our communities, and this is possible thanks to the funds the city invests in Adult Education.

Thank you very much.


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