Help Immigrant Students! Free bilingual childcare program for their kids

Help Immigrant Students! Free bilingual childcare program for their kids

Crowdfunding Completed: December 14, 2016

Amount Funded: $4700

Project Owner: Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston Texas

Short Description of Project

Our project puts into action our U.U. principles. The inherent worth and dignity of every person is at the forefront of our motivation to teach English to immigrants in the Houston Texas area. Each person in our community deserves to have the language skills necessary to successfully raise children, pursue education and find meaningful employment. Many of the immigrants we teach struggle with basic language skills and could not attend classes without the free childcare we provide. The free childcare service for which we are seeking funding through Faithify is an integral part of our program.

How was this project connected to UU?

Emerson UU Church of Houston Texas claims this program as one of the ways it reaches out to the marginalized immigrants in our community to put our faith in action and fulfill the church’s mission to build a better world. Houston Texas has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country so there is a great need for education in basic language skills. Emerson UU Church prides itself in being the only ESL program known of in the city that provides free childcare for its ESL students. See below for the endorsement of Emerson UU Church's Board of Trustees President.

Full Description of Project

The Free Bi-Lingual Childcare for Immigrant Children Program is an all-important element in a comprehensive program (Emerson UU Church’s English Classes for Immigrants Project). An ESL student with her sonThe project provides free, accessible English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction for over 100 adult immigrants in the greater Houston area. While designing the comprehensive ESL program, the valuable input from members of the immigrant community in Houston was of utmost importance. To have a An ESL student dropping off her children.successful program, it was determined that free childcare had to be an integral part of the program. Many of the women were single mothers working in domestic positions at low salaries. They had little chance of finding better employment because they could barely communicate in English. Many of the new immigrant fathers had yet to secure employment, and were living with relatives while struggling to find any type of employment. It should be noted that some of the immigrants were well-educated in their home countries, but simply had no English skills.

Childcare for Immigrant Children Program Serves 50 Immigrant Children
The Free Bi-Lingual Childcare for Immigrant Children Program serves 50 children, ages 1 month to 10 years. The children come from a variety of countries. The majority, however, are from Spanish-speaking countries. A number of children are refugees fleeing war-torn Middle Eastern countries; some are political asylum refugees. In general, the children who are younger than 6 years of age, are unable to communicate at all in English. The children over 6 years know some English because they go to school, but nevertheless need a lot of help and encouragement. Very often the only English the children hear is in the childcare program or in school (older children).

Saturday Afternoon and Tuesday/Thursday Evening Classes for Parents
Emerson UU church's ESL student dropping her son off at the playground.

The children attend activities in designated playroom/nursery areas, and in the playground and large grassy area all located in the Emerson UU Church facility. The schedule is as follows: Saturdays, 3 hrs., 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays, 2 hrs., 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Childcare is an essential part of Emerson's ESL program Thursdays, 2 hrs., 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.). The program runs in tandem with the English Classes for Immigrants Program which is 14-week program with two semesters annually. The childcare program, which employs six licensed and experienced caregivers, is implemented under the direction of three very experienced early-childhood development and elementary education specialists (volunteers).Childcare is an essential part of Emerson's ESL program Childcare is an essential part of Emerson's ESL program. In addition, a salaried bi-lingual assistant helps to create a non-threatening atmosphere for the children and can translate when required. Goal-oriented language games, activities, and play are carefully selected by professional staff to help the children acquire useful ESL experiences that will ease integration into American culture, help them build confidence, and make learning a fun and positive experience for them.

Childcare Program Requires Qualified and Experienced Care Givers
The comprehensive program (ESL classes and Bi-Lingual Childcare) requires a large number of staff including a Coordinator, experienced/qualified ESL teachers, teaching assistants. early childhood experts/elementary school teachers, record keepers, reception staff, accounting support, testers, and translators. Emerson is proud to say that the program is more than 85% implemented and managed by volunteers from the Emerson UU Church as well as by friends of the church and coordinating organizations.

Faithify Donations Will Also Provide Educational Materials, Toys, and Supplies
ESL student picking her children up after ESL class.The Free Bi-Lingual Childcare for Immigrant Children Program is asking Faithify donors for support for salaried licensed childcare personnel and a bi-lingual childcare assistant, custodial support, replacement of educational toys and aids, crafts and art supplies, books, one additional baby crib and linens, and hygienic supplies (including disposable diapers, sanitizers, cleaning supplies, hygienic papers and towels).
Emerson UU Church's English Classes for Immigrants project is the only ESL program in the Houston area that provides free childcare for its students.
Our project puts into action our U.U. principles. The inherent worth and dignity of every person is at the forefront of our motivation to teach English to immigrants in the Houston Texas area. Each person in our community deserves to have the language skills necessary to successfully raise children, pursue education and find meaningful employment. Many of the immigrants we teach struggle with basic language skills and could not attend classes without the free childcare we provide. The free childcare service for which we are seeking funding through Faithify is an integral part of our program.