Another school year here at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program began this week with student orientation. Here are some photos:
Today University Settlement staff members attended a vigil on the Lower East Side to protest against the separation of families at the border. The vigil was coordinated by Families Belong Together.
Families Belong Together includes nearly 250 organizations representing Americans from all backgrounds who have joined together to fight family separation and promote dignity, unity, and compassion for all children and families.
Led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Women’s Refugee Commission, MomsRising, FWD.us, United We Dream, People’s Action, ACLU, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, MoveOn and others, the coalition has raised millions of dollars for immigrant children and families, mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in all 50 states to take action, and helped to reunite thousands of families.
Families Belong Together continues its work to permanently end family separation and detention, seek accountability for the harm that’s been done, and immediately reunite all families who remain torn apart.
Two of our University Settlement Adult Literacy Program teachers recently took part in the Hunter College Study Abroad program in Puerto Rico. This unique program offered the opportunity to engage with education and educators in Puerto Rico, deepening the close ties between Puerto Rico and New York. They learned firsthand how the historical, social and political contexts of Puerto Rico impact English as a Foreign Language learners and educational systems, and worked side by side with local Puerto Rican English language teachers. This program gave them an opportunity to immerse themselves in critical inquiry about English language teaching in settings outside the US. They visited eight schools, learned about bilingualism from Puerto Rican university professors, worked with students, judged an English contest, and conducted community service.
One teacher had this to say about her experience:
“This Education and Language Teaching in Puerto Rico program was an excellent study abroad course to learn about bilingual programs in Ponce schools. There were plenty of opportunities to observe and collaborate with English language teachers in K-adult classrooms as well as volunteer in community service projects. In just five days, we could plunge into Puerto Rico’s culture, learn to dance salsa, and study its resilient history.
Furthermore, we could experience beautiful colonial architecture with pastel-colored facades in Old San Juan and evocative murals around every corner in Ponce. We enjoyed the warmth of Caribbean breezes and splendor of tall coconut palms wherever we went. Besides this, we had scrumptious mofongo – fried plantains mashed with meat or seafood – and met many warm-hearted people. Most importantly, we acquired different perspectives towards teaching bilingual students.
I am so grateful and blessed to have attended this course. I am indebted to the generosity of the Adult Literacy Program at University Settlement and appreciate their support.”