The Passyunk Square Civic Association has begun an initiative to translate its newsletter to Spanish and sponsor ESL classes for its Spanish-speaking residents.
This is an effort to be more inclusive to the Spanish immigrant community, said Chris DiCapua, the PSCA’s parks liaison and outreach coordinator. “We have a growing Spanish community,” DiCapua said. “We want to represent all residents of our community and would like to bring more Spanish speakers to our meetings.”
The ESL classes will be held at the Columbus Square Recreation Center on 12th and Wharton, Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The classes will take place over the course of five weeks from Feb. 11 to March 11; $20 covers the classes and materials.
The Department of Parks and Recreation offers programming for kids during the classes for parents who want to bring them along. Participants attending more than four of the five classes will receive prizes such as a gift card to a local business.
Lisa Budnick, owner of the Tenth Street Laundromat and one of the class sponsors, won five scholarships that she will use to pay for five students to attend the ESL class. Columbus Square Recreation Center is also trying to win scholarships for participants.
DiCapua plans to expand the translation and ESL initiative by including Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian in a year or two.
“I think often immigrant communities are very vulnerable,” he said. “We want to create a connection. Our culture is enriched from our immigrant community.”
As time goes on, the communities will evolve into second generation American born Spanish speaker, and the PSCA wants to represent their culture and population, he said.
To guarantee a seat, register before the first night of the class or on the first night of the class. For more information, call Chris DiCapua at 267-467-4307 or visit the website .
– Ruthann Alexander, @RuthannAlexande