Everyone is invited to attend the English Language Centers second annal benefit gala and international program to be held on Thursday, September 18 at 6 p.m. at the Elements Restaurant in Logan.
The English Language Center is a nonprofit organization that teaches adult speakers of other languages to speak English, along with basic life skills, employment education and citizenship preparation classes. Co-Director Katie Jensen said the students come from approximately 60 different countries, most have a very low income and little or no formal education.
“We teach from that level to pre-university,” Jensen said on KVNU’s Crosstalk program Tuesday. “Any student at any level can come into our center and test, we give them a good test. Then we place them in a class that is appropriate just for them. We work very closely with the Utah State Office of Education.”
Jensen said the English Language Center was the top community-based organization for student progress outcome last year.
The inability to speak English, coupled with a lack of formal education opportunities in their native countries, causes great challenges for the many students of the ELC. The center has been responsible for many successes, helping these people gain not only valuable language skills but also important life and cultural knowledge.
One of the students who will be speaking at the gala is Margarita Patel who came to Cache Valley 16 years ago with her husband, three young children and a sister who was in need of medical attention for her cancer.
Patel said although she misses Mexico, she has been happy here with help from the ELC.
“This has been a nice experience here in Logan because my dream was to learn English, always. This school (has) given me this opportunity to learn.”
ELC co-founders Rhonda Kingsford and Jensen said they appreciate local residents and organizations that lend their support. Jensen said the ELC hopes to raise $50,000 at the gala which will be a fun and entertaining evening with the theme “Night of a Thousand Stars.”