On Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 6 pm, the Oak Bluffs Public Library is hosting a graduation ceremony for its second class of adult English language learners. According to a press release, the eight-week course was taught by a local instructor, Polina Bellan Wilson, two nights a week, beginning in September. There will be 12 new students receiving completion certificates and three returning students, who also took the inaugural course in the spring. This free course is for beginner-level students, and requires preregistration. Due to the high demand for ESL services, the next course, offered at the end of January 2020, already has a waitlist.
Beginning in October 2018, the library received a two-year Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant totals $15,000, and is to be used to improve services and resources for citizenship education and English language learning. Supplemented by support from the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs Public Library, four courses are offered in the spring and fall over the two-year grant period.
By working with community partners, the library has successfully spread the word that they provide material and programs for everyone in the community. Although the ESL classes require preregistration, there are other regular programs where drop-ins are welcome. Bilingual storytime is Wednesday mornings at 10:30 am; English Language Conversation Circle is on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm, and there is an interpreter and translator on Saturdays from 1 pm to 3 pm to assist with any library services or materials.
Those interested in becoming a volunteer to help provide these services, or anyone interested in taking the ESL course, can reach out to Nina Ferry, head of adult and technology services and project director for the LSTA grant. Email email@example.com, or call 508-693-9433.