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St. Mary's Bank Donates $3,000 to Manchester Community College's ESL Café

Left to Right, Kathy DesRoches, Director of MCC's Workforce Development Center; Mark Phelps, ESL Café facilitator; Tom Champagne, Director of Community Outreach, St. Mary's Bank, and MCC President Dr. Susan Huard. Left to Right, Kathy DesRoches, Director of MCC's Workforce Development Center; Mark Phelps, ESL Café facilitator; Tom Champagne, Director of Community Outreach, St. Mary's Bank, and MCC President Dr. Susan Huard.
Photo by MCC Photography Staff

Posted: July 29, 2010
by St. Mary's Bank

St. Mary's Bank recently gave $3,000 to Manchester Community College (MCC) to help support its English as a Second Language (ESL) Café. The funds will allow the college to host the café for another year.

"There are doctors, lawyers, machinists, cashiers and unemployed immigrants from the surrounding communities who have come to MCC's ESL café to practice English in a nurturing environment where they can make mistakes without worrying about what others think," said Tom Champagne, St. Mary's Bank's Director of Community Outreach. "We're pleased to help MCC continue their work by giving those learning English a fun, safe place to meet with others in like situations."

Launched in January 2009 with help from a similar grant from St. Mary's, the café meets weekly and can include just a few attendees to many. Open on Wednesdays from 4:30-6:00pm, the café provides an environment where non-English speakers from the Greater Manchester area and surrounding communities can gather to practice English, learn pronunciation rules and determine how to make educated guesses about how to say new words they encounter every day. They also come to get more information about American culture and idioms, which can be difficult to understand without some guidance.

"The goal of the ESL Café is to create community and provide assistance to an underserved, local population of non-native English speakers," said Kathy L. DesRoches, MCC's Director of Workforce Development. "We're grateful to St. Mary's Bank for their support, which will help us continue hosting the café on Wednesday evenings. Our mission is to improve the community by reaching out to immigrants who are struggling to communicate, and donations such as those from St. Mary's help us continue to do so."

For more information on Manchester Community College and its programs and services, call (603) 206-8000 or visit their website at www.mccnh.edu.