Every Tuesday morning from 9:30-11:30AM during the school year, a group of 35 women meet at Hope CommUnity Center to learn basic English and life skills, explore ways to help their children at home and in school, make friends, and build self-confidence.
MOMS, which stands for Making Ongoing Meaningful Steps, was created six years ago, when Sister Maureen White and Youth and Family Director Nilka Melendez saw a need for English and life skills instruction during daytime hours for immigrant women who were at home with children. Nilka and Sister Maureen created a program to offer English instruction and more, intentionally creating a supportive, ongoing community of women with similar backgrounds and experiences.
Since its founding, the program has grown from a group of about 10 women to more 30. Instruction is flexible and exploratory. Some of the topics that we are covering in the 2016-2017 school year include attending school conferences, money and budgeting, health and self-care, and personal storytelling. Inspired by the principles of Popular Education, we seek to build our curriculum around the lived knowledge of the women in the group, and to empower them to take positive action in their lives, the lives of their families, and the life of their community.
Because we have our group is composed of multilevel learners, every class meeting we divide into three groups based on English and literacy ability: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. We also provide basic literacy tutoring for those who never had the opportunity to attend formal schooling in their home country. Still, a common sense of community is key, and so we always begin and end each class together, to discuss a topic as a group or to play a game. Childcare is provided during class time, to give mothers with children a space and time to focus on their studies. Transportation from local neighborhoods offers those with limited mobility a way to get to class.
Contact (407) 880-4673 ext. 230 or e[email protected] for more information.
*We are closed to new students for the 2016-2017 school year, but please contact us to join a waiting list for next year and learn about other English learning opportunities at HCC and in the Apopka area.*