Each Thursday evening, as you are driving home from work in Green River, chances are you’ll see a faint glow coming from the Epicenter building on Broadway. Since January of this year, Epicenter and Arches Education Center of Moab have partnered to bring English as a Second Language (ESL) and General Education Development (GED) courses to the community of Green River. We meet each Thursday from 5pm to 7pm and everyone is welcome.
The classes are a unique resource here in our community. Without a community college in town, the opportunity to pursue education after high school is difficult. However, we believe that education is one of the best investments a person can make in their life and therefore we are thrilled to offer our time and space to such a great cause for our community. Both ESL and GED courses offer individuals the opportunity to increase their personal capabilities in the workforce and their options for employment. Specifically ESL offers townspeople the chance to better understand one another, allows people to come together in community discussions, and provides skills useful in the workplace. Our classes are small and designed to offer extensive one-on-one time between teachers and students.
For the past seven months I, Ryann Savino, AmeriCorps VISTA, have had the pleasure of coordinating these courses here in our desert town. The growth and personal accomplishment I have witnessed has truly inspired me. At the start of classes I simply assisted when I could and offered support to students and teachers. However, a month into the program I was given the opportunity to teach the ESL classes on my own. What ensued was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in Green River. To learn a new language is difficult, especially English, but the importance and opportunity which is the integral underlying aspect of ESL is truly life-changing. Two of the students, Eva Herrera and Beatriz Espinoza, came every single week and have told me that now they are able to better communicate with doctors, their children’s teachers, and their employers. ESL is practical and its impacts are resounding.
Presently, Epicenter hosts ESL and GED courses every Thursday from 5pm to 7pm in our office at 180 S. Broadway. All adults, at any level, are welcome and encouraged to come. If you have any questions or would like to know more information, please stop by Epicenter or call us at (435) 564-3330.
A special thank you to Trish Hedin of Arches Education Center and our wonderful students.