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Lawhon, Carleston relatives graduate from ESL program

Marching to strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” 11 parents and relatives of Lawhon and Carleston elementary students graduated from Pearland Neighborhood Center’s English as a Second Language program Nov. 20.

The graduation ceremony recognized students who had completed the fourth series of ESL classes funded by PNC. Graduates, who attended classes this year at Lawhon, learned basic reading, writing and conversation skills. In addition, four of the graduates are preparing to enroll in a GED class in January.

Graduates included Cristina Aurrecoechea, Felipa Espinosa, Yolanda Salazar, Eloisa Espinosa, Maria I. Juarez, Berli Torres, Elizabeth Juarez, Margarita Martines, Rafaela Savala, Olga Godinez and Anabel Mendoza.

In 2004, the PNC Board of Directors approved an English as a Second Language program for PNC clients. ESL classes range from three to five levels, with the five-level course covering more advanced reading, writing, grammar and conversation skills. In addition, some students have used the ESL program as a springboard to earn GEDs, complete U.S. citizenship and enroll at local community colleges.

All classes equip students not only to function better in their community and at their job but to take a stronger role in their children’s education.

Dr. Olivia Moore, PNC continuing education coordinator, has taught all four series of ESL classes.

“I am very proud of these graduates. I have never had such a motivated class. Although this class covered basic communication skills, all of my students were ready to advance to more challenging material,” Moore said.

For more information about the program, contact Kelly Perusse, PNC executive director, at 281-485-1987.