Did you know that Boston has some 320,000 residents with limited English-language proficiency? And it’s reported that only half of these people have access to English-language learning programs. The BPL has offered classes — free of any charge — to immigrants and other English-language learners for years, and has seen its students gain confidence socially, forge new friendships, and build community within each classroom session. Beyond the classroom setting, our students advance professionally and in many other ways enrich their lives.
In 2020, our Library staff shifted the program to an online format and saw attendance almost double: 5,000 people participated in classes! This online format meant students could be met on their own turf, removing the potential barriers of childcare, transportation, and work schedules. Though in-person learning is fundamental (and fun!) and we plan to pick it back up when the BPL further opens to the public, the ZOOM learning will stay as well, as it became clear that this is an accessible means of learning for many of our patrons.
Support new opportunities for all with a gift to the BPL Fund. Your donation strengthens resources for our ESL classes . . . where learners become friends and teachers become family.