According to an article published this week on the New York Times, $3 million comes in the form of private donations, while the rest is provided by the city and the nation, stated Tony Mark, the library’s president and chief executive. In 2012, the library developed an English teaching program which replaced the outsourced services they were using. The new program offers 7,900 seats for English students and it is expected that the number will be raised to 16,000 seats provided additional funding is received.
How it Works
The classes are divided into six different levels and revolve around different themes that go from housing and family to shopping and transportation. Those enrolled into the program must attend classes for six months, twice a week, for two hours and they could be asked to drop the programme altogether if they skip classes or are chronically late: Due to the high demand, those enrolled in the classes are expected to keep up with attendance.
This year, the Brooklyn Public Library increased the funding dedicated to English classes from $214,000 to $417,900, which pays for 1,757 students to study for free. The Queens Library, on the other hand, has added new summer classes on top of their fall and spring ones, which are catering for a total of 2,700 students.
An Impending Need
According to the Queens College sociology department, over a third of the total population of New York City was born in a foreign country, with 3.8 million people speaking a language other than English at home. Most students state that knowing English is one of the first prerequisites for getting any job, which makes it a stepping stone to improving their position in the new city. Many have also stated that, although they have tried finding other language schools who would teach them the language that they need, most of them are too expensive for them to afford.