EDINBURG – More than 35 residents are now enrolled in an English as a second language course being offered by Edinburg Housing Authority (EHA) at La Posada Community Center.

The opportunity for residents of public housing to learn English was an idea brought to the table by EHA Executive Director, Rodolfo “Rudy” Ramirez.

Ramirez vision of helping his residents live self-sufficient lives was the leading force to creating an on-going partnership with Region One Education Services Center (Region One ESC).

“I won’t stop seeking opportunities for our residents,”Ramirez said. “I believe they can succeed and create better lives for themselves. Learning English is a step closer to making that happen.”

The collaborative effort between EHA and Region One ESC will be a continuous partnership that will offer a year – round ESL program that will continue to renew as long as there is a need in housing.

Students will meet twice a week for three hours a day to engage and participate in a variety of oral and written activities to teach and improve their English.

However, prior to beginning the program Region One ESC assed the residents in order to see their functioning level of the English language.

There are six levels student can fall under, level one being for beginners and level six for students with higher knowledge of English.

Residents are then grouped based on their level of understanding during class and the teacher will tend to each group based on their needs.

After completing 60 instructional hours, students will have and exam that will determine if they are ready to advance to the next level.

The completion of this program varies depending on every individual’s knowledge of English, but the long-term goal is for the residents to complete all six levels and excel to the high school equivalency program.

“Having our residents get their GED would be a great accomplishment.” said EHA Social Worker Valeria Rodriguez.

Rodriguez grew up in housing and understands the importance of bringing opportunities such as ESL classes to residents of EHA.

Her experience growing up shaped her determination and commitment to serve the people she once resided with in any way possible.

The ongoing Region One ESC program will run through June of 2018 and will open up many doors for the residents of EHA.