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St. Mary's Bank Gives $2,800 to Manchester Community College's ESL Cafe

Left to right, Kathy L. DesRoches, Director Workforce Development, Manchester Community College, Tom Champagne, Director of Community Outreach, St. Mary's Bank and Mark Phelps, Cafe Director, Manchester Community College. Left to right, Kathy L. DesRoches, Director Workforce Development, Manchester Community College, Tom Champagne, Director of Community Outreach, St. Mary's Bank and Mark Phelps, Cafe Director, Manchester Community College.

Posted: December 16, 2008
by St. Mary's Bank

St. Mary’s Bank recently donated $2,800 to Manchester Community College (MCC) to help support its English as a Second Language (ESL) Café. The funds will help cover the costs to operate this new program during the first year while sustainable funding is obtained.

“Having been a part of the Greater Manchester community for the past hundred years, St. Mary’s is aware of its large immigrant population and the rich culture this group of people brings to the city,” said Tom Champagne, Director of Community Outreach. “We’re pleased to support a program that will assist those that speak English as a second language. MCC’s café will provide them an important resource for learning the English language and sharing in the experiences our vibrant community has to offer.”

According to the 2006 U.S. Census more than 8% of the population living in New Hampshire speak a language other than English in their homes. The café – which is free to the participants – plans to address the needs of these individuals by meeting once a week for two hours at MCC on Wednesday mornings. The program aims to create community for the students and drive discussions about situations that occur during their daily lives that they may not understand and how to handle situations that they may not have encountered yet, such as a job interview.

“We’re grateful to St. Mary’s Bank for this grant, which will help us run the café one morning each week for the first year,” said Kathy L. DesRoches, MCC’s Director of Workforce Development. “Our ESL Café is a place for non-native English speakers to meet and practice their listening, speaking, reading and writing English skills in a non-threatening atmosphere. We hope with more sponsors like St. Mary’s, we’ll eventually be able to expand the program.”