Toledo Library offers free ESL classes


    The South Branch will host the classes four days a week (WNWO).

    TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) -- The Toledo Lucas County Library is helping the Glass City become more inclusive by offering free English classes.

    The whole initiative is aimed to engage all parts of the community and make Toledo more welcoming and accepting of people from all over the world.

    The classes are provided by PENTA, and tailored to each individuals needs.

    But they're also for more than just learning the universal language.

    "It is important for our city to be a welcoming and an engaging city, to show others that here they can come in and should they not be able to speak the language, that we have resources and available space and facilities for them to learn the language," said Celeste Felix Taylor, South Branch manager.

    English is Taylor's second language. She's from the Dominican Republic, so she is a native Spanish speaker, and understands the importance of resources like this.

    "It's a nice way for particularly new immigrants who have come in, to get to know each other, so it serves as socialization so they don't feel isolated and then it also serves as of course a class for them to learn how to adapt to being in America and how to speak the language," said Taylor. "The teacher is extremely knowledgeable, she speaks various languages and so she is able to provide further assistance, that one-on-one that they may not be able to get somewhere else."

    Reem Subei is the co-chair for Welcome Toledo-Lucas County, a group dedicated to building a more welcoming and inclusive community, for immigrants and people of diverse cultures.

    "Providing the language services is going to bring those skills and abilities from the refugees and immigrants into our community, so at the end of the day we are benefiting from providing them with the service," said Subei.

    She says the classes are a necessary service that any city should provide to refugees and immigrants.

    "It's just merely opening the door to enable those persons to integrate and give back to our community, because without the language ability, you cannot integrate with society and you cannot give back," said Subei.

    The classes are offered at the South Branch on Mondays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays through Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    No registration is required.

    The King Road location hosts a "Lets Talk" English language conversation club on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    You can see the full list on the library's website.


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