Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

Back to school

Posted by sebastianbrown on December 3, 2009

Mary-Anne gives a quick explanation of the exam

After taking a break for Thanksgiving, the Nob Hill group was back at it in full force last night. Even though the heavy rain kept a couple of the regulars away, the six that showed up were as excited as ever just to hang out, catch up and take the first step toward forming our very own Nob Hill ESOl class…completing the English placement exam!

Mary-Anne Hess, a teacher/coordinator of the ESOL program offered at Sligo Intl. Middle School, administered the test. The group ranged from Samuel, who has actually completed several months of an advanced ESOL course all the way to Martin, who has almost no experience reading English.

After completing the half-hour long exam, the group took some time to plan potential next steps. As we started talking about setting up the next meeting, Ana voiced concern that too many members who’ve showed up in the past were absent last night. Immediately, Martin jumped in adding that while it’s important to have a good showing to maintain the group’s energy, people will show up according to their need/interest and that all we can do is reach out to them.

Ana and the others finishing up the exam

With that the group collectively decided to task each member with making a reminder phone call to one other member who didn’t make it last night. A kind of progressive phone tree, it seemed as the most suitable first step to gradually handing more and more control of the group to the group itself.

As far as the agenda for next meeting, Melvis suggested that with help from Elvis and Samuel, two of the more English-proficient participants, I design a basic introductory English lesson for next week. But before ending for the night Samuel’s soft-spoken wife, Marina, reiterated the importance of leaving time for the group to catch up each week and be able to offer any support individual members might need, whatever it might be.

Stay tuned to see how the group continues to grow in the upcoming weeks!

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