Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Arlington Public Library has received a $1000 grant from the Young Adult Services Association of the American Library Association to support a writing program for teens who speak English as a second language. ESL Speaks: Sharing Teen Immigrant Stories will take place over the summer, with sessions starting in June.

Storytelling, whether written or oral, is a cross-cultural tradition that passes down experiences and memories. In ESL Speaks, teens can discuss their stories and express themselves freely in a non-judgmental setting while building confidence in their English language skills, both written and spoken.

The Library will host a five-week series workshop on writing stories and poems in partnership with The Writer’s Garret. Teens will be encouraged to create works highlighting the teen immigrant experience. ESL Speaks meets on Tuesday afternoons at 2 to 3 p.m. from June 13 to July 18 at the Downtown Library. These workshops are free but registration is required. Click here to sign up.

There will be a final celebration and reading of the participants’ work on Saturday, August 3, from 4:30PM to 5:30PM at the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library. Friends, family and other community members are invited to attend!

“We hope ESL Speaks will strengthen and expand the impact of the library’s summer learning program towards teens most vulnerable to summer learning loss,” says teen librarian Loretta Zhang.

Each teen writer will receive a book with the group’s writing at the end of the program. The Library will also display copies in the young adult areas at the Downtown Library and Northeast Branch.

Arlington Public Library's ESL Speaks: Sharing Teen Immigrant Stories is supported by a grant from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.  Click here to learn more about ESL Speaks and about all writing programs at the Library.