The English-Speaking Union celebrated the end of 2016 with two joyful holiday festivities for the ARNIC and EiA communities.
On November 21st, the English-Speaking Union hosted a special Thanksgiving feast to introduce members of its Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center (ARNIC) and guests to this most iconic of American traditions. Three ARNIC alumni, Mohamed Berrakaoui, Leo Borello, and Alyona Glushchenkova, spoke to the assembly. They thanked Dr. Andrew Romay, founder and primary sponsor of ARNIC, for his support and shared their experiences in ARNIC that have helped them find paths to success in the US. Each of them explained that this was the first time they had made public speaches in English.
English in Action tutors and students spent a lively evening chatting and laughing and tasting treats at the EiA Holiday Party on December 14th. With the Garden Lounge festooned with garlands of twinkling lights and origami peace cranes, guests arrived bearing platter after platter of homemade goodies to share. EiA Tutors brought donations of Metrocards for ARNIC members, to help with their travel to and from English in Action. The mood was festive and joyful. Students had a chance to practice small talk, and everyone had the opportunity to meet fellow program members from other EiA units.
ESU Executive Director Christopher Broadwell gave a heartfelt welcome, and EiA Manager Karen Ruelle thanked the volunteer tutors for their dedication and hard work. ARNIC graduate Mariam Cessouma gratefully accepted the 2017 Marcella Frank award. Mariam, a doula/midwife from Burkina Faso, joined the ARNIC program in October 2015. She graduated at the end of 2016. This scholarship allows her to continue in English in Action practicing conversational English with a tutor for another year. Marcella Frank was the unit director at two NYU units for many, many years. She also helped to create theTips on Tutoring English booklet. When she retired, the ESU created a scholarship in her name to honor her dedication to English in Action. She passed away a few years ago.