The ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Movie Nights provide ESOL students, their families, and other local residents a chance to meet each other over film, discussion and good food.
Goals of the program are to:
- provide opportunities for newer residents from Sharon and surrounding towns and more longtime residents to meet and interact with one another
- provide opportunities for ESOL students to improve their literacy skills through watching movies and conversation
- increase awareness and understanding among non-immigrant participants of the challenges facing immigrants in our area.
SPN collaborators are: Sharon Public Library, Literacy Volunteers of MA Stoughton/Sharon, Sharon Adult Center/Council on Aging, and Youth LEAD. For more information email or call Smadar Gekow (781-232-9362).
In August 2011 three SPN partner collaboration projects were selected and funded. Partners met and discussed ways to work together to forward SPN’s mission and goals and to address the needs of their constituents by expanding their contacts with a diverse community. ESOL Movie Nights is one of the programs.
The first movie night on January 22, 2012 featured the classic film, To Kill A Mockingbird. The documentary, Spellbound, about eight teens from different backgrounds in their quest to win the National Spelling Bee, was shown the following April. Each film brought 40 to 50 ESOL students and other local residents to the Sharon Public Library. Teens from Youth LEAD moderated small group discussions after the films, while participants enjoyed foods from local businesses, including berry pies and ice cream.
According to Smadar Gekow and Sandy Goverman of Literacy Volunteers of MA Stoughton/Sharon, both these events had the added benefit of helping students feel more connected to the community and engaging other residents to become tutors in the ESOL program.