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Community Action Agency, RCCC teach English in West End

By Clara Marts

Special to the Post

When Jim Price, who teaches English as a second language, considered opening a satellite classroom, only one agency came to mind that already serviced a large portion of Rowan County’s Spanish-speaking population through its various programs.

“I really need a location that will allow people to conveniently attend classes and take advantage that their children attend preschool at the Head Start centers in the target area,” Price told Stan Wilson, executive director of Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College currently conducts English as a second language classes at its Salisbury campus. With classes that take place in the mornings and in the afternoons Monday through Friday, RCCC has successfully helped to provide many individuals the opportunities to develop autonomy by becoming bilingual in both their native language and English.

“Giving people the skills they need to become independent is one way to help our community,” Price said.

This is Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency’s 51st year in operation helping people reach their goals. Other than Head Start, the organization offers youth and adults the opportunity to develop self-sufficiency through various programs such as the Family Self Sufficiency and Youth Career & Education Training. Partnering with RCCC to bring English as a second language to program participants and residents in the community perpetuates the agency’s mission ‘to enhance quality of life and promote opportunities for self-sufficiency,” Wilson said. And a partnership was formed.

Classes began April 6 and ended June 5.  Students were provided a comprehensive curriculum taught by Lacey Visagie that covered Level 1 & Level 2 English comprehension through oral, verbal and computer practicum.

On Friday June 5, the Community Action Agency and RCCC held the first ever English as a second language graduation ceremony.  It was a celebration of hard work and perseverance that resulted in every student advancing levels and receiving certificates.

English as a second language classes will resume in September. Registration for the fall term will be held on Sept. 2 at the Community Action Agency office at 1300 W. Bank St. at 9 a.m.  The classes are free and available to anyone who needs to learn basic English.

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