Published On: Mon, May 10th, 2021

Boca Helping Hands Offering Virtual ESOL Class and Conversation Café

Boca Raton, FL — Boca Helping Hands is offering a new six-week virtual English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class, called Intermediate ESOL Practice, each Thursday beginning May 20 from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm. The organization has also established an ongoing virtual “Conversation Café” as part of its Professional Development Program to help its clients improve their English language skills. Both programs are currently held via Zoom.

Nearly 500 individuals have participated in the Boca Helping Hands ESOL program since it began in 2014. The goal of the newly added Intermediate ESOL Practice course is to build fluency through spontaneous discussion. The class will view and discuss videos about everyday topics, participate in writing activities and vocabulary building, and learn about structure and grammar to become more fluent in English.

“As a resource-based agency, it is imperative that we continue to find adequate ways to match our community’s needs,” said Trina Chin Cheong, BHH Director of Programs. “This class gives Boca Helping Hands yet another opportunity to meet those needs by providing engaging and meaningful English learning opportunities.”

The volunteer instructor for this course is Victoria Navarrete, who designs online ESOL programs for middle school and high school students in her professional life. Navarrete first learned about BHH’s programming through her children’s school. Involved with Boca Helping Hands since 2019, she designed the Survival English (beginner’s ESOL) course that launched earlier this year and is compiling videos and lessons plans for the Intermediate ESOL Practice course.

“This program will allow them to build and practice these skills in a relaxed environment where they can experiment with and make mistakes in English with no negative consequences,” said Navarrete. “When they use their new language skills outside of the classroom, they will be confident in their communication abilities and will have strategies for dealing with new situations that arise in those contexts.”

Conversation Café is open to all levels and helps to practice English in a casual and conversational setting. People can participate at their leisure to further develop existing language skills through conversation with other participants and BHH volunteers. Conversation Café is held twice a week on Tuesdays from 5:15 pm-6:15 pm and Fridays from 2 pm-4 pm. Participants must register at least 24 hours in advance to receive the Zoom link.

Boca Helping Hands is looking for additional teachers with ESOL experience — who feel comfortable teaching in a virtual setting — to volunteer for the ESOL programs. For more information about this volunteer opportunity, please email [email protected].

To register for the Intermediate ESOL Practice course or Conversation Café, please visit bocahelpinghands.org/ESOL. Individuals must reside in Palm Beach County and need to have a personal computer, internet connection, and Zoom access.

For more information on Boca Helping Hands, visit bocahelpinghands.org.

About Boca Helping Hands
Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is a community-based nonprofit that provides food, medical and financial assistance to meet basic human needs as well as education, job training and guidance to create self-sufficiency. Through its various assistance programs, BHH supports over 27,000 people annually.

BHH distributes more than 80,000 pantry bags each year at four Palm Beach County locations and serves over 90,000 hot meals annually, six days per week. The organization expands access to affordable medical, dental and behavioral care through its partnership with Genesis Community Health, serving clients at clinics in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. BHH sends weekend meals home with food-insecure elementary school students via the BHH Backpacks Program and assists working families with the rising cost of childcare through the Children’s Assistance Program (CAP).

With an increased focus on client self-sufficiency, BHH awards scholarships for qualified candidates to attend accredited vocational training classes that prepare them for careers in the healthcare, information technology, and transportation industries. BHH also offers free English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes and courses in nutrition and other life skills. Staff and volunteer mentors counsel the unemployed and underemployed in basic workplace skills and help them polish resumes and search for jobs.

Boca Helping Hands is a partner agency of The Town of Palm Beach United Way. Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has been committed to improving lives and building strong communities throughout Palm Beach County by focusing on programs and priorities that promote education, health, and financial stability.

Charity Navigator named Boca Helping Hands a Four-Star Charity for the 14th consecutive year in 2020. Boca Helping Hands is located at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton, FL 33432. For more information, please visit BocaHelpingHands.org.

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