ESL Classes for Sunset Park Moms

(Photo by Andrew Sundberg for Mother to Mother Brooklyn via BKLYNER)

Britain Blackketter, a resident of Park Slope, started the nonprofit Mother to Mother Brooklyn to offer ESL classes to mothers with toddlers. Instead of having to pay for childcare, the mothers can bring their children to the classes, she tells BKLYNER’s Megan McGibney.

Operating mainly in Sunset Park, which has Brooklyn’s second largest immigrant community, Mother to Mother partnered with another nonprofit MixTeca Organization to start the ESL classes. Back in May, about ten women came to the classes, with or without their kids. The current goal is to get 25 women into these classes.

“It’s taken a year,” Blackketter says of Mother to Mother’s development. “You have to gain trust [in the community].”

The students so far come from Central and South America. The classes give them an opportunity beyond just learning English.

“We give people a chance to naturally come together,” Blackketter explains. “It widens their circle. They often feel isolated. So we bring cultures together that don’t usually interact.”

Besides learning English together, the mothers have created programs for each other where they share each other’s cultures. There have been chocolate-making and guacamole-making classes, as well as haircutting gatherings.

For more on Blackketter’s plans for the nonprofit and her background in education and running community groups, go to BKLYNER.

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