By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Students learning to perfect their English in classes sponsored by the Shorefront Jewish Community Council in Brighton Beach received encouragement from their local city councilmember, who paid a recent visit to the program to see how they were progressing.
Councilmember Chaim Deutsch (D-Brighton Beach-Sheepshead Bay-Manhattan Beach) visited the Shorefront Jewish Community Council’s English Speakers of Other Languages program and spent time with immigrants learning how to turn singular words into plurals.
“I was excited to have had the opportunity to participate in the Shorefront JCC Adult Literacy class. This class provides an opportunity for our local immigrant community to acquire basic language skills and enhance their conversational communication in a comfortable and familiar environment,” Deutsch said in a statement.
Deutsch also stated that he was impressed by the students in the class, many of whom are senior citizens.
The Shorefront Jewish Community Council, located at 3049 Brighton Sixth St., has been offering the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program for five years. Every year, over 100 students are enrolled in one of the three class options that SJCC offers. The programs include beginning and intermediate level ESOL and intensive U.S. Civics classes to prepare students for the U.S. history and civics exam as part of the citizenship process.
“These classes are critical for our community. South Brooklyn has one of the highest rates of seniors living in poverty and that community is mostly made up of relatively new immigrants. By providing English classes we allow our students to communicate better help them advocate for themselves,” said Rachel Krich, site director of Shorefront Jewish Community Council. “These classes are only made possible in our community because of special city funding allocated to adult literacy; we hope that our local elected officials will continue to support this very important program.”
During Deutsch’s visit, students spoke to him about initiatives he has led to help senior citizens in the city. The councilman also shared a bit of his personal history, including some of his favorite stories from the campaign trail when he ran for the council seat. Deutsch was elected to the City Council in 2013.
For more information on the ESOL program, call 718-743-0575, ext. 7503.