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Adult Learners Take Action

Posted on 04/15/2009

Agenda posted on whiteboard
Agenda posted on the whiteboard 03/10/09; teacher leads a choral reading & discussion of the agenda @ the beginning of class.

On March 10 2009, Milpitas Adult Education learners in Citizenship, Senior ESL, ESL 4, and ESL 5 attended the Milpitas Unified School District Board Meeting and presented letters about the importance of Adult  Education. Their teacher, Jennifer Gagliardi, documented the process in a series of blog posts on her US Citizenship Podcast blog.

The first post describes how the adult learners prepared for the meeting by reviewing the Rights and Responsibilities section of their Citizenship textbook.  They also wrote letters to the School Board expressing why adult education was important to them.

The second post illustrates the preparation stage with an image of agenda on the whiteboard for that class meeting.

The third post reveals how challenging it may be for non-native speakers and new immigrants to attend an event of this kind. Fortunately, the teacher distributed good instructional materials to keep her learners focused. At the end of the meeting the Adult School Week proclamation was read and passed by the School Board, and the Board members moved on to more budget items. Around 8:15, the Adult Students were invited to address their concerns to the School Board.

Addressing the school board
Learner at Milpitas Adult Education Program addresses the School Board

The fourth post gives more details about what is required of a member of public in order to speak at a School Board meeting. Representatives from each of the Adult School programs filled out required forms and spoke in front of the board. Other learners turned in written comments to the board and by doing this participated in the democratic process.

The fifth post   features a success story by an adult learner who also spoke not only about the important role of Milpitas Adult School in her life, but the importance of all Adult Schools as windows for immigrants to their new homeland, America.

An additional post features a video (posted on YouTube) of an ESL/Citizenship student practicing reading her letter to the Board. The following day, she attended her US Citizenship Interview.

ESL/Citizenship student practicing reading her letter to the School Board

Visit US Citizenship Podcast blog to learn more about how adult learners in Milpitas engage in their community by being active in numerous civic activities.