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

About cepholyoke

Executive Director, Community Education Project
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