Library opening lines of communication

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - As the face of Amarillo continues to change, so does the need for breaking barriers between such a diverse population. But now the city's public library is opening the lines of communication.

Learning a new language as an adult is proven to be more challenging, but the Amarillo Public Library is making things a little easier with a new English as a Second Language program.

The Amarillo Public Library is now offering more than just free books to read, they're also offering free English language classes for the city's non-English speaking population.

Stacy Clopton Yates with the library says, "There are a lot of great providers in Amarillo offering ESL classes, but a lot of them have waiting lists. There is just such an enormous need."

The courses will cover everything from reading, to writing, to speaking English and will focus on skills needed in every day situations.

ESL Services Coordinator Pat Mullin, "If one group needs to learn about the body and about going to the doctor, we can focus on that. If another class wants to learn about how to apply for a job, than we can focus more on that. We can tailor it to the student's needs."

Especially because the program is being funded through the library's regular budget.

Yates explains, "A lot of ESL classes are funded through the state or a grant program and so they are tied to some very specific curriculum and requirements. Because ours is not, Pat will be able to give the students what they need."

Because the classes are adults-only, they will help bridge the gap between older and younger generations.

Mullin says, "One of the things we want to do is make sure the parents of children can talk to their child's teachers, so the children don't always have to act as interpreters."

Classes begin February 6th, but you must sign up ahead of time.

You can do so on February 1st from 9 to 11 AM and 1 to 3 PM and then again on February 2nd from 1 to 3 and 5:30 to 7:30 PM.