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ESL graduates celebrate

Nevada Appeal staff report
The Metzonali Dancers, Ashley Guadarrama, 10, Esmeralda Salcedo, Natalie Villafana, Nitza Velazquez, all 12 and Citlaly Munoz, 14, prepare to perform for the crowd at the ESL 10th Award Appreciation Ceremony at the Governor's Mansion Saturday.
Brad Coman | Nevada Appeal

Saturday was a gala day for many of Carson City’s most disadvantaged families, as 67 adults from the ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada were presented with certificates of achievement in English language and literacy.

Learning English is the single most important step a family must take to become assimilated into U.S. culture and society, and a significant factor in individual and family success at multiple levels. Without English, it’s almost impossible to earn enough money to support yourself or your kids. Also, children who have not learned English before starting school are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to learning the basic skills they need to do well.

Having reached a level of English where they can speak, read and write at least at middle school level, these adults may now progress to get their GED, and prepare for citizenship.

Seven new U.S. citizens opened the ceremony with the pledge of allegiance, and 160 former students have already become U.S. citizens. Having already proven how hard they are willing to work, these resourceful men and women can also obtain better jobs, and help their children succeed in school.

The event was also attended by some of the program’s dedicated corps of volunteer tutors, and many friends and family members of both tutors and students. Sergeant Daniel Gonzales from the Carson City Sheriff’s Office was the keynote speaker, and Florence Phillips, founder of the ESL In-Home Program and veteran of the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, made the presentations along with some of her tutors.

ESL gives many thanks to their generous supporters who made this event successful: Grandma Hattie’s Restaurant, Partnership Carson City, Ron Wood Family Resource Center, Raley’s, Smith’s Food & Drug, Staples, Wal-Mart, Office Depot, Trader Joe’s, TK’s Toy Stand, Caporales Mexican Store, Hamdogs, Heidi’s Restaurant, Carson Station Restaurant, JT Basque Restaurant, L.A.Bakery, Pet Station, Red’s 395 Grill, Pho Country, Adele’s Cafe, Applebee’s, Artisan Cafe, Chili’s, Panda Kitchen, The Basil Thai Cuisine, San Marcos Grill, Sassafras Restaurant, Viet Pho, Woodett’s Restaurant, Walley’s Hot Spa & Restaurant, New U Salon & Spa, Lonnie Heiderman Skin Care, RSVP Hair Salon, Bella Medical Spa, Mary Kay, Vaughn Russell Hair Salon, Carlene Olsen Hair Salon, Velvet Touch Hair Salon, Fitness for 10, Fitness 1440, Pulse Fitness, Anytime Fitness, The Yoga Lift, WNC Music Event.