Working with the community is beneficial for our students!

Student speaks to health insurance professionals at Norwood Hospital Wellness Fair

I learned a lot of important things at the health fair. For example, calling 911, what to do when you come to the hospital, how to use the interpreter services, what sleep disorders are, and about knee and hip pain.
The most important thing I learned was how we need to have clear and efficient communication with 911. Call 911 only in important situations, be calm and keep in mind all important information, such as your name, the nature of your emergency, your phone number, and location.
Every day we have dangers around us and we never know when we will need help or when other people will need help. I drive almost 1,200 miles per week and I can always be at risk for accidents. Keeping in mind the location, the direction, and point of reference can help me in case I need help.

Student receives leadership promotion!

maria rotatedMaria is 30 years old and came to the U.S. from El Salvador 15 years ago. People would sometimes tell her that English wasn’t important. She could get by without it. But Maria knew better.

After living in the U.S. for several years, Maria enrolled in the Blue Hills Adult ESOL program. In 2013, she began as a shy level 2 student but was determined and worked hard, and as her English improved and her confidence grew, she moved quickly through class levels. She is now a student in the highest level class.

When Maria began ESOL classes she worked at McDonald’s and was making minimum wage. Her hard work in English class was about to pay off, though, because she now had the confidence to advocate for herself. She had the courage to ask her boss for more money. When he offered her $1 more per hour, Maria told him she could earn more somewhere else, and started looking for a new job. She found that job at Taco Bell in Walpole, where she was offered more money, and after only four months, received a “Leadership” promotion. She is now responsible for closing out the cash registers and locking up the building at the end of her shift. She has received a raise, and says her increased income has allowed her to contribute more to the household and her husband feels less pressure as a result.

Maria understands the importance of learning English and the benefits she and her family will gain from it. Her next step is to obtain a high school equivalency, an accomplishment that she knows will open more doors for her.


Student passed citizenship test

GeorgeGeorge Alghazi passed the citizenship test on Feb 18, 2016.

On March 9, 2016 he was sworn in as an American citizen at the JFK museum. George was a student at Blue Hills Adult Education ESOL Program for 3 years. He began his studies in the Beginner class and credits his teacher, Irwin Stokar, with his success.  “You gave me a chance. When I came here, I speak only little English. I knew how to say, he, she, there, but that’s it. BHAE helped me understand better so I can do the 100 questions on the test.”

We are so proud of you, George! CONGRATULATIONS!

Students give back to community

The Norwood Record published this editorial and story on the ESOL students’ donations to our community:

Just_a_few_things_sm_aJust a few things…

“So, do you want to feel good right now?  I mean really good for just a few seconds?  If so, then turn to Page 16 of this week’s issue and look at the picture of the ESOL students making a contribution to the Norwood Food Pantry.”  see full article






Adult_ESOL_Student_DonatesmAdult ESOL Students donate

“The students at Norwood Adult Education ESOL Program have been collecting food donations for the Norwood Food Pantry for a month and today they delivered an entire carload of food to needy families. ”  see full article






ESOL students celebrate graduation!

Congratulations to the Blue Hills Adult Education ESOL Program students who received certificates of achievement during a graduation ceremony on June 7.

“There are 7 billion people in the world, but it only takes one to make a difference,” said Norwood selectman Paul Bishop, the guest speaker. He told the students to continue to pursue their personal dreams and the American dream.

Student speaker Cristina Ayala, from Colombia, gave a moving speech that inspired all the students:

“I was reading something about Katie Couric, who is an American news person who covered many important events, including: The historic presidential election of 2008, The September 11 attacks, The Columbine tragedy, The Oklahoma City bombing, and The Funeral of Princess Diana.

“And I was shocked when I knew that one day she was working washing dishes. It shows me that one of the most important things in America is EDUCATION.

“That’s why, I want to thanks to Ellen Borgenicht, Mary Ann Sliwa, and all the others teachers here for being worry about our education, and also I want to say to students that never stop learning, because no body knows what we can be in the future.

“Don’t forget it:
Education is the road,
Education is the way,
Education is the power.”


In honor of the graduation, The Norwood Record published this beautiful article about the Blue Hills Adult Education ESOL Program and what it means to our students:

ESOL_Students_GraduatesmESOL students graduate with gratitude

“When Hoda Nohra moved from her native Lebanon to America 12 years ago, she didn’t know a word of English.

“In her time learning the language through the Norwood Adult English for Speakers of Another Language (ESOL) program, Nohra has befriended many people from a wide array of cultures and developed skills she hopes will carry her to a job working at a bank. ” see full article