CEP Appoints New Executive Director Effective July 1, 2016

The Community Education Project (CEP) in Holyoke is proud to announce that Rose Egan will be joining the organization as Executive Director this July.  Her experience and credentials are an excellent match for CEP’s goals for the future.

Rose hails from Northampton and holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from University of Massachusetts. As a seasoned administrator, Rose has experience leading a non-profit organization, expanding programming and securing funding, as well as has a strong background in strategic planning. We especially appreciate Rose’s experience in developing partnerships and relationships and look forward to new developments for CEP and the community.

Rose will begin her work with CEP on July 1, 2016.  The retiring Executive Director, Robin Hodgkinson, will assist in the transition.  CEP greatly appreciates his ten years of service.

Sincerely,

President, CEP Board of Directors

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Annual Newsletter

Dear Friends and Community Partners,

robin

2015 has been another exciting year for those of us who work at C.E.P.  The annual newsletter is an opportunity for us to reflect and share some of the successes of our amazing adult students over the past year.  Reflecting on the achievements of our community of learners is personally gratifying for me (food for the soul), and I hope the stories will be of interest to those of you who continue to support our work in Holyoke and Hampden County. At this time when so much of the news is monopolized by extremist rhetoric and acts of violence, we hope you will join us in celebrating the strength and richness diversity brings to the civic and cultural fabric of our community.  We can’t do it alone; our small agency has a big heart, but it is only as strong as the partnerships we maintain with individuals and other organizations in the community.  If these stories inspire you as they do me, please join us in supporting our annual fund drive with any donation you can afford.

Miriam Gonzalez

Miriam

Mother of three grown children and grandmother, Miriam Gonzales has been enrolled in the Spanish Native Language Literacy HiSET prep classes for over two years.  When Miriam is not attending class, or doing her homework, Miriam volunteers at the Ronald MacDonald House in Springfield where she organizes the annual “Three Kings Day” celebration. Miriam also founded “Grandparents Day” in Holyoke as a way of recognizing the contributions that elders have already made and continue to make in the Latino Community.  Miriam and her husband, Gonzalo, also organize musical and cultural events in Springfield that celebrate the rich Puerto Rican folk music tradition. If that’s not enough, Miriam is also an organizer for the annual March of Dimes campaign in Hampden County. After she passes the HiSET exam, Miriam plans on enrolling in the CEP Transition to College and Career Program, and then Holyoke Community College.

Mary Gomez is the mother of two deaf children; she also provides intensive foster parent services for two other at risk, special needs

Mary Gomez

Mary

children.  Mary speaks Spanish and English and is fluent in American Sign Language.   In addition to attending class four days a week, Mary runs her own cleaning business.  Recently she was honored by the Woman’s Fund of Western Mass. for her participation in the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact. Once she completes the HiSET, Mary plans on joining the Transition to College and Careers program before she enrolls at Holyoke Community College where she plans to take course-work that will prepare her for a career working with individuals who are hearing impaired.  Mary’s compassion and positive attitude are an inspiration to all at CEP.

Sabina Mauldin

Sabina & Robin

When I first started teaching at CEP almost 12 years ago, one of my first  ESOL students was Sabina Mauldin. A native of Panama, Sabina, was a single parent who arrived in the U.S. not speaking English; she learned English and worked as a seamstress and a factory worker while she raised her son and made sure he completed high school and graduated college.  One of the first things Sabina said to me was, “Now it’s my turn to get an education!”  Sabina completed ESOL III at CEP and then went to our partner program, the HALO Center, where she completed her GED in English.  In recognition of her persistence and achievement, Sabina received the prestigious “ABE Student of the Year Award” from the Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Educators. After Sabina completed the Transition to College and Careers program, she had planned to enroll at HCC, but as a result of being promoted to a supervisory position at her job, Sabina has had to postpone enrolling in HCC because of her work schedule.  Knowing how persistent Sabina is, we have no doubt that she will complete her college education when the time is right.

Frances Rivera-Diaz and TCC classroom instructor Kate Walker

Frances & Kate

After passing the HiSET exam, Frances Rivera-Diaz enrolled in the Pre-STEM Summer Academy and then joined the CEP-HCC Transition to College and Careers Program.  While in the TCC program, her teacher, Kate Walker, wrote: “Frances impresses me so deeply because she works hard and chases after her goals relentlessly. She wants to transfer from HCC to Smith and study Engineering as an Ada Comstock Scholar. I have no doubt she will carry through with this plan. She usually picks up new things incredibly quickly, but when she doesn’t, she digs her heels in and won’t let go of a problem until she understands it. For some of my students, much of the math is review (even if a foggy review), but for Frances it was brand new past the basics. She began in the Fall in the lower math group, but worked hard independently throughout winter break with the goal of moving up into the advanced group. She reached that goal, and by May had tested into College Math. She also worked extra hard at her writing, improving drastically over the course of the year. She is so, so, smart, and has a super attitude. She brought brightness and enthusiasm to the class and encouraged other students when they were frustrated. She was also great at explaining math concepts to those who were struggling. She is an all-around star, and any scholarship awarded to her will be an incredibly rewarding investment.” After graduating from the TCC program, upon enrolling at Holyoke Community College, Frances was awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM Scholarship).

If you believe our educational programs and services help new-comer adults realize their potential to become fully engaged members of the community, please join us.  Your gift helps transform lives

Happy Holidays and Wishes for a Peaceful New Year from the Students, Staff and Board of Directors at C.E.P.

 Spanish NLL class celebrates Mothers DayESOL 4 class A

 

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Transition to College and Careers graduate Frances Rivera-Diaz receives a National Science Foundation Scholarship

Holyoke Community College-Adult Learning Center student and Pre-STEM Academy and Transition to College and Careers graduate Frances Rivera-Diaz received the prestigious National Science Foundation Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM Scholarship).  The scholarship will allow Frances to explore a wide range of STEM studies at Holyoke Community College to find the field that best suits her career goals.  In their award letter to Frances, the scholarship committee commented:  “Your enthusiasm, demonstrated interest, and academic talents are what stood out to the S-STEM Scholars’ faculty.”  Congratulations Frances!!

Frances and TCC classroom instructor Kate Walker.

Congratulations Frances!

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IMPORTANT JOB OPENING AT COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROJECT

Job Announcement: Pre-ESOL/Native Language Literacy in Spanish Instructor

Holyoke, Massachusetts

Start Date: September 1, 2015  

DESCRIPTION

  • Teach three levels of Pre-ESOL Literacy/Native Language Literacy in Spanish classes: GLE 3-5; GLE 6-9; GLE 10-12 (HiSET prep)
  • 26 hours/wk (includes prep time); classes meet Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
  • Salary: $20.50/ hr.; annual employment benefits include paid holidays, vacation, sick days, health insurance
  • Long term employment opportunity; potential for additional grant funded hours 

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bilingual Spanish/English with native Spanish fluency
  • Masters Degree and two years experience teaching Adult Basic Education (ABE)/HiSET prep (preferred), or
  • Bachelors Degree+ teacher certification and 3 years teaching experience (minimum)
  • Strong written and interpersonal communication and technology skills
  • Ability to teach a learner-centered ABE/HiSET curriculum in Spanish incorporating computer literacy, basic arithmetic up to algebra, writing, reading, social studies, and science.
  • Commitment to participate in free professional development and program development
  • Ability to work effectively and flexibly with a diverse faculty, staff, and student body

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Experience administering standardized assessments (Best+,TABE Clas-E, MAPT, etc.)
  • Familiarity with DESE/ABE Curriculum Frameworks and/or College and Career Readiness Standards
  • Experience teaching students with special educational needs
  • Experience working in an inner city ABE program

Applicants who do not meet the qualifications as stated above are encouraged to put in writing precisely how their background and experience have prepared them for the responsibilities of this position.

Please email Resume with Cover Letter to:

Robin L. Hodgkinson

Executive Director, Community Education Project rhodgkinson@cepholyoke.org                                                                            

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Spanish HiSET Native Language Literacy class celebrates Mothers Day.

Spanish NLL class celebrates Mothers Day

Spanish HiSET students celebrate Mothers Day after completing the Nutrition Education Program workshop presented by Ana Maria Monet.  Pictured on left in white is classroom NLL teacher Luz Alvarado Torres.  Felicidades queridas madres!

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“Now It’s My Turn…!”

Sabina MauldinSabina will receive the “ABE Student of the Year” award from the Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Educators at the MCAE Network Conference on May 15. On May 14, Sabina will complete the Transition to College and Careers program at HCC; she plans on enrolling at HCC in September. Congratulations Sabina!!

cepholyoke

Thirty odd years ago Sabina Mauldin arrived in the United States from Panama.  She was a young single parent with a sixth grade education, with a baby son on her hip, and a few dollars in her pocket.  She lived with her brother until she found a job and could afford her own apartment.  Working in factories and as a seamstress, Sabina learned enough English on her own to support herself and her son. Sabina also made sure her son graduated from high school and then college.

In 2005 Sabina enrolled in the advanced ESOL class at the Community Education Project (CEP) in Holyoke.  When she told her teacher that her son had recently graduated from college, she added “Now it’s my turn!”  After spending a year in the advanced ESOL class at CEP, Sabina enrolled in the pre-GED class (in English) at the Holyoke Adult Learning Opportunities (HALO) program…

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“Now It’s My Turn…!”

Thirty odd years ago Sabina Mauldin arrived in the United States from Panama.  She was a young single parent with a sixth grade education, with a baby son on her hip, and a few dollars in her pocket.  She lived with her brother until she found a job and could afford her own apartment.  Working in factories and as a seamstress, Sabina learned enough English on her own to support herself and her son. Sabina also made sure her son graduated from high school and then college.

In 2005 Sabina enrolled in the advanced ESOL class at the Community Education Project (CEP) in Holyoke.  When she told her teacher that her son had recently graduated from college, she added “Now it’s my turn!”  After spending a year in the advanced ESOL class at CEP, Sabina enrolled in the pre-GED class (in English) at the Holyoke Adult Learning Opportunities (HALO) program at Holyoke Public Schools.  Seven years later Sabina took the GED and missed passing the Math section by two points. Six months later she re-tested and passed the new HiSET.  Sabina is currently enrolled in the Bridge to Transition to College and Careers class provided by CEP in partnership with Holyoke Community College (HCC).  Sabina expects to enroll at HCC in September 2015. Sabina’s positive attitude, honesty and persistence are an inspiration to everyone who knows her. We all look forward to attending her future graduation from HCC.

Sabina Mauldin

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State of the Village Report-2014

STATE OF THE VILLAGE REPORT – 2014 

 
If the world were a village of only 100 people, there would be:

     60 Asians,
    16 Africans, 
    10 Europeans, 
      8 people from Central & South America, Mexico & the Caribbean, 
      5 from the USA and Canada, and
      1 person from Australia or New Zealand
Source: www.census.gov/population/international/data/idb/informationGateway.php

The people of the village would have considerable difficulty communicating:

 17 people would speak a Chinese dialect (12 of them Mandarin) 
      6 Spanish,
      5 English,
      4 people Hindi/Urdu, 
      3 Arabic,
      3 Portuguese, 
This list accounts for less than half the villagers. The others speak (in descending order of frequency) Bengali, Russian, Japanese, Javanese, Lahnda, German, French, and over 7,000 other languages.

            Source: www.enthnologue.com/statistics/size
In the village there would be: 

     32 Christians,
     23 Moslems, 
     15 Hindus, 
     16 Nonreligious, Agnostics, or Atheists,
      7 Buddhists, 
      6 Folk or traditional religions
      1 All other religions (including Judaism, Baha’i, Sikhism, Shintoism, 
          Taoism, Zoroastrianism, to mention just a few.

In this 100-person community: 

    51 would live in cities. (footnote #1)
     23 would live in substandard housing.  (footnote #2)
     74 adults (age 15+) live in the village; & 16 of them illiterate. (footnote #3)
     14 would suffer from malnutrition. (footnote #4) 
     11 would not have access to clean, safe drinking water. (
footnote # 5)
     20 people would not have any electricity.  (footnote # 6)
         Of the 80 that do have electricity, most would use it only for light at night. 
     In the village would be 56 radios (footnote # 7)
, 22 televisions (footnote # 8),

         93 mobile phone subscriptions (footnote #9), and 9 computers (footnote # 10)
         (some villagers own more than one of each). 

     40 people are using the Internet.  (footnote # 11)
     17 people would own an automobile  

(some of them more than one). 

 (footnote # 12)
       8 people would possess 83% of the entire village’s wealth. (footnote # 13)
       The poorest 70% of the people would receive only 3% of the income 

          of the village. (footnote #14)
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Annual Fundraising Campaign

Dear Friends,

As we approach this holiday season, CEP has been providing Adult Basic Education classes, referral and advocacy services to low-income, migrant, and immigrant adult learners in Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield for over two decades.  While many small CBO’s struggle to survive, CEP’s programming is stronger than ever, our community partnerships continue to expand and strengthen, and our commitment to helping new-comer adults realize their full potential as fully engaged members of the community with equal access to education, healthcare and employment is as strong as when the agency was founded over 20 years ago.

ESOL 4 class A

ESOL Class

In 2014-15, we will continue to provide free classes to over 150 adult learners who are committed to learning English and building literacy skills to help their children with homework, enter employment, or enter post-secondary education or work-force training programs. Our students come from the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 2014-15 our classes include HiSET (GED) preparation in Spanish, English Language instruction (ESOL) and day and evening transition to college classes, as well as a Family Literacy/ESOL class for the families of migrant farm workers in Springfield.

Elia pic

Elia Dreyfuss

In Memory of Elia Dreyfuss:

This past year Holyoke lost a  tireless advocate and champion of Social Justice. Elia Dreyfuss was one of the first ESOL teachers at CEP and maintained her connection and commitment to the agency even after she moved on to other jobs. As an educator and advocate in low-income Latino communities of Mexico, California, and Holyoke, Elia worked to empower the lives of thousands of people by helping them access educational programs, better health care services, and improve the economic circumstances of their families. Most recently, for the past 8 years, Elia partnered with CEP as the Coordinator of the Transition to College and Careers Program at Holyoke Community College.  Her work with CEP as Coordinator of the Transition to College and Careers Program created the opportunity for hundreds of low-income, first generation college students to enter college with the academic skills and self-confidence to succeed, and with education plans tied to career paths to jobs that pay family supporting wages. The Elia Dreyfuss Scholarship Fund for graduates of the ABE-TCC program has been established at Holyoke Community College in Elia’s memory.

Thanks to the Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice and Holyoke Community Development Block Grant Program for supporting our Native Language Literacy programming in Spanish.  Funding from Holyoke CDBG Program allows us to add a third level of instruction for adults who are studying to take the high school equivalency test (HiSET) in Spanish.  Thanks to the dedication of our NLL teacher, Luz Alvarado-Torres, several of her students passed the GED last year and several more are poised to take and pass the new HiSET this year.  Support from the Carlos Vega Fund for Social justice will allow CEP to pay for half of the cost for up to ten students to take the HiSET in Spanish in 2014-15.

We value your supportPlease become one of our vital collaborator’s and use the DONATE button on the CEP home page to demonstrate your support of CEP’s programming. We need your help!

NLL student

Educational Programming in 2014-2015

Our 2014-15 NLL and ESOL programming is supported by grants from the Mass. Department of Education, the Beveridge Family Foundation and Community Foundation of Western Mass and private donors like YOU.  

Native Language Literacy in Spanish: 317 Main St., Holyoke 

Multigenerational NLL Students

Multigenerational NLL Students

 

  • Three levels of Native Language Literacy classes in Spanish: Adult Basic Education (ABE) Levels II, III, and IV.
  • Intensive small group instruction for individuals who are preparing to take the new High School Equivalency Test (HiSET).
  • Includes bilingual academic advising and assessment; referrals to community services; emphasis on preparing to enter ESOL classes after passing the HiSET.
  • Thanks to a grant from the Carlos Vega Fund for Social Justice, we are able to pay for half the cost for our students to take the HiSET.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): Picknelly Center, 206 Maple St., Holyoke

ESOL student

ESOL Student

  • Two levels of English Language instruction (ESOL):  low-Intermediate and high-Intermediate levels focused on oral proficiency, reading and
  • Includes bilingual academic and career advising and assessment; referrals to community services; emphasis on preparing to enter the transition to college and careers program or the workplace.

Family Literacy/ESOL class for migrant farm workers: in partnership with Holyoke/Springfield Head Start

  • Beginning ESOL instruction building key vocabulary and necessary phrases for daily life focusing on Health Care, Housing and Shopping for Food.
  • Includes daily parents and children reading together story book time.
  • Family dinner provided by Head Start.

ABE-Transition to College and Careers: at Holyoke Community College and Picknelly Center

  • The Transition to College and Careers Program is provided in partnership with Holyoke Community College and offers free evening and day classes at the Picknelly Center and at Holyoke Community College. The Bridge and ABE-TCC classes are college prep classes for adults who have a high school diploma or high school equivalency; who need to improve their academic skills or build English reading and writing skills to place into college level, credit-bearing courses. These classes have saved over 100 graduates of the Transition to College and Careers program more than $80,000 in tuition and book fees over the past four years by preparing them to by-pass fee-based, non-credit bearing Developmental Education classes when they enroll in college. Both the day and evening classes provide bilingual advising, assistance with financial aid applications and how to access college academic and other college counseling services, as well as career counseling and the development of a written career education plan linked to a career path to jobs in industries that pay family sustaining wages.
ABE-TCC students_2011

TCC Students

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PeoplesBank supports CEP’s adult literacy programming.

The CEP staff, students, and Board of Directors gratefully acknowledge the support of PeoplesBank in our efforts to provide comprehensive adult literacy programming in Holyoke and greater Hampden County.

For 2014-15 our adult literacy classes include:

  • Three levels of Native Language Literacy for adults preparing to take the high school equivalency test in Spanish.
  • Two levels of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) focusing on speaking, reading and writing.
  • An evening Bridge to Transition to College and Careers class at the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center for adults preparing to enter college (a partnership with Holyoke Community College)
  • A day Transition to College and Careers college prep class at Holyoke Community College

For more information contact us at: 413-538-5770

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