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English as  a Second Language class empowers Fort Drum community members  to connect communicate build confidence

☷English as a Second Language class empowers Fort Drum community members to connect communicate build confidence

U.S. Army
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   Fort Drum Soldiers and family members can register for English as a Second Language classes through the Relocation Readiness Program at the Family Resource Center . The free classes give community members a way to strengthen language skills , build confidence and connect with other Soldiers and family members . ( Photo by Mike Strasser , Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs ) Fort Drum Soldiers and family members can register for English as a Second Language classes through the Relocation Readiness Program at the Family Resource Center . The free classes give ......community members a way to strengthen language skills , build confidence and connect with other Soldiers and family members . ( Photo by Mike Strasser , Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs ) Fort Drum Soldiers and family members can register for English as a Second Language classes through the Relocation Readiness Program at the Family Resource Center . The free classes give community members a way to strengthen language skills , build confidence and connect with other Soldiers and family members . ( Photo by Mike Strasser , Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs ) FORT DRUM , N . Y . ( April 28 , 2022 ) - - A group of community members were recently sitting together in the lounge area at the Fort Drum Family Resource Center , enjoying each other’s company with the ease of longtime friends . When the clock struck 11 a . m . , they moved to the nearby classroom to begin the day’s instruction – bringing with them the same enthusiasm and fellowship they shared moments before . Welcome to the English as a Second Language class . “They have really become close with one another and happy to be doing this together , ” said Paige Konoza , instructor . “It’s not just about learning English . They spend time outside of class and look out for one another . ” Konoza said that , for them , language is not a barrier but an opportunity . “These classes offer spouses – and we have some service members too – a chance to really connect with other people and build a network of support , ” she said . “They are there for each other if someone needs a car ride or when their Soldier is on deployment and needs help . ” Konoza has been teaching ESL at Fort Drum since her family moved here in the fall of 2019 , first as a volunteer and then as a part - time instructor through Literacy of Northern New York . She previously taught ESL in middle school while stationed in Texas , where she also volunteered to teach recently arrived immigrants . But she also experienced the opposite side of the classroom when she was a language student in Germany . “Everyone was thoughtful and considerate of one another , ” she recalled . “We were rooting each other on , just wanting each other to do well . ” One of her students , Florence , registered for ESL at Fort Drum while preparing to take her citizenship test , which includes an oral interview . “When she did pass that , we were all really proud of her , ” Konoza said . “I think students are not just learning grammar and vocabulary , but the confidence you need to speak a second language . She was really proud of herself for showing what she could do . ” Konoza recalled another student , Jenny , who came to class with her little boy . “Then she had a baby who also came to class with her , but she kept coming to each class , ” she said . “Now she is working full - time , and not just a job but the start of a career . She is really reaching a major professional goal . ” Scarlett Sharkey , Fort Drum Relocation Readiness Program manager , said volunteers are instrumental to the ESL class , and that community members can find it a rewarding experience . “We love our volunteers and they help us so much , ” she said . “When some students need a little more one - on - one time , this is when a volunteer can provide that extra attention . There is no experience necessary , just a willingness to help . ” The free ESL classes are offered through the Soldier and Family Readiness Division’s Relocation Readiness Program . Community members can register for the beginner or intermediate ESL class by visiting the Family Resource Center , Bldg . 11042 on Mount Belvedere Boulevard . Beginner classes are 9 - 11 a . m . , and intermediate classes meet from 11 a . m . to 1 p . m . , both on Tuesdays and Thursdays . “ESL empowers spouses and Soldiers , ” Sharkey said . “It gives them the ability to better communicate with the world around them and a chance to grow their jobs into careers . And it gives them a chance to make those personal connections and new friends we all need at a new installation . ” For more information , call ( 315 ) 772 - 6566 or visit www . facebook . com/Fort - Drum - Relocation - Readiness - Program - 171335822906429 .


29 April 2022 ( April 29 2022 )



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English as  a Second Language class empowers Fort Drum community members  to connect communicate build confidence
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