Learning a second language is not necessarily easy for all people. Having the distraction of a baby, toddler, or elementary- aged child in the same room as one tries to learn the language would make the learning situation even harder. Because of a grant from the Tama County Community Foundation (TCCF) to the South Tama County Community Schools (STC) for ESL for Adults to Support Child Care, learning a second language has become just a little easier.
In both 2012 and 2013, South Tama County Community Schools was granted $1,500 for each year to provide childcare for adults trying to learn English. In 2012 adults would meet for two hours, three days a week from September to May at the STC Elementary school. Adults would go to a fifth grade classroom for class; he children would go to a preschool classroom, where a variety of vetted high school students and/or teachers' aides watched and played with the children. Anywhere from three to four people to a maximum of ten parents would participate on any given night.
This year South Tama has collaborated with Iowa Valley College Community District (IVCCD) at the STC Partnership Center. Through Iowa Valley, High School Equivalency Classes, formerly known as GED classes and adult ESL classes are being offered. These classes are offered throughout the day and for a longer period of time, allowing for more flexibility for the adults.
Mary Sherwood, assistant principal at the South Tama Elementary School and Marry Fasse-Shaw, Tama Coutny Community Foundation development assoicate.
Besides day care, some of the grant's money went to provide books and games to entertain the children as the parents receive their education.
"The goal is to make learning accessible for the families in order to work on their English skills or get their GED by providing child care for them, "stated Mary Sherwood, STC Elementary Associate Principal. Sherwood also felt that there was a good community effort and partnership working with Iowa Valley in order to help our community and our families. "We appreciate the gift that the Tama County Community Foundation gave as it will help provide programs to these families."
Sherwood also pointed out that the elementary students who come to the school with their parents see their parents being role models as they work hard to improve themselves through education.
The TCCF has been created by and for the people of Tama County. The Foundation's main goals are to support charitable projects and programs, to attract additional funds, and to assist donors in creating lasting legacies through a variety of giving options within the county. For more information about the TCCF, contact Brian Sokol, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation, 641-484-2980, or Mary Fasse-Shaw, TCCF's Development Associate at 641-751-5251.