Congratulations to the Next STEP Class of 2011!!

On Friday, December 23, 2011, AACA graduated the first classes of Next STEP Level 4 students.  A total of 22 students had participated in these two classes.

Our Level 4A class prepares students for college.  In the words of one of the graduates: “Through three [and a half] months of studying, I considered that I got a progress on the writing skills, knew more about American cultures and learned some real college skills.”  Almost a dozen of our students will be enrolled in community college classes in January, while others are waiting on acceptance notice to graduate level programs.

Our Level 4B class prepares students for entering the American workforce, either through a job training program or directly into a livable wage job utilizing professional skills acquired in their home country and English and soft skills finessed in AACA’s Next Steps Transitional English Program (Next STEP).  Several of these students are already accepted into Job Training programs at AACA and elsewhere, while others are already working in their field here in the US, hoping to be able to achieve promotions or better jobs with their enhanced skills.

Our graduation / holiday party on 12/23 included all 6 classes (at 4 levels) of the Next STEP program receiving certificates of completion acknowledging their successes at the level they were studying.  Two of the graduating students addressed the crowd to inform the “underclassmen” of the specifics of each of their classes, hoping thereby to inform the lower level students of the choices they have when they get to level 4.

Following the formal graduation ceremony, a holiday party ensued with delicious food brought by all students organized by the student council.  After enjoying the food, some sharing around holiday traditions occurred in one classroom, where students had fun learning about the Hanukkah dreidel, hearing a recital and brief explanation of “‘Twas the night before Christmas…” and singing some of the popular holiday songs in English, and, in one case in their own languages as well.  Following that, some students had fun continuing to finesse their English skills with a Scrabble game.

Our new Next STEP cycle will start on January 17th.

For more pictures taken at the graduation ceremony and Christmas party, please visit our Facebook Page.

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