Through Programa Escalera, LUPE invests in the self-development of our members and the community by offering Literacy, ESL, Citizenship and GED classes.
Escalera goes beyond the immediate needs of individuals to develop greater skills thereby allowing them to improve their lives and their ability to respond to new opportunities. This second level of engagement places members in control of the process that enhances their own skills and, at the same time, their value to the community at large.
- Literacy: Our Letras para Todos teaches low-income residents basic reading and writing skills. This allows them to overcome the handicap of limited literacy and opens the world to exploration by every individual. Learning to communicate through the written word also permits the individual to enter a new level of interaction with family, friends, and officials. Literacy allows for the acquisition of a much deeper understanding of the events that impact people’s lives and enables them to achieve a much higher degree of control over these events. The program focuses on Spanish literacy in order to take advantage of students’ verbal skills in their native language.
- English as a Second Language (ESL): The ESL program teaches simple, survival communication skills in English. Once students are comfortable with reading and writing their native language, they are ready to begin learning English. Accomplishment at this level of the ladder leads to a more complete integration of the individual into the broader society. Moreover, by understanding Basic English, parents can interact more effectively with governmental authorities, (such as those in the school system) and can respond more effectively to the numerous communications they may receive.
- General Equivalency Diploma (GED): This program prepares students for the successful completion of five category examinations on which the GED diploma is based. Earning a GED opens many new doors for those who achieve this important milestone. Primarily, achievement of a GED also improves students’ employability. Still another advantage to earning a GED is that graduates are eligible to seek higher education, if that is their goal. But perhaps most importantly, GED recipients serve as powerful role models for their children and other family members. Attainment of a GED equips a person to better understand and interact with the events that impact their lives.
- U. S. Citizenship Opportunity: This program assists immigrants that are ready to make a deeper commitment to the United States as their home. The program offers U. S Government classes, reading, and writing in English in preparation for the Naturalization examination administered by the U.S Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services. Many long-term legal residents of the region have long perceived that they could not fully participate in public life due to their non-citizenship. By becoming a U.S. citizen, immigrants begin to integrate themselves into the fabric of American society and are allowed to participate fully in the democratic decision-making processes.