Monday, September 22, 2014

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Public Library Looks to Offer More Free English Classes

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TWC News: Public Library Looks to Offer More Free English Classes
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The New York Public Library is seeking additional funding so it can expand its English as a Second Language courses.

The library offers the free classes at 32 of its 88 neighborhood branches.

This year it offered more than 7,900 seats.

That's up from 2,500 in 2011.

Its goal is to be able to offer up to 16,000 seats, but those involved say it needs more funding.

"Every semester, every cycle, we just have more and more new faces and every day more and more people are coming in to New York, so I don't think there'll ever be an end to people who need ESL classes, and especially who need free ESL classes, so I think we'll always continue to need more funding," said teacher Elizabeth Kaune.

The president and chief executive of the library say they spend about $5 million a year on English language instruction.

About $3 million comes from private donations and the rest from city and federal funds.

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