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Helmut Schmidt, Published August 29 2012

Project English expands the number of sites in Fargo-Moorhead

FARGO – Project English is now being projected through much of Fargo-Moorhead.

The English-language learning program, sponsored by the five metro Rotary clubs, has expanded from its original home at Carl Ben Eielson Middle School at 1601 13th Ave. S., Fargo, to eight sites throughout in Fargo and Moorhead.

“Gaining a working knowledge of English will open many doors,” said Tim Dirks, director of the Fargo Public Library. He spoke this morning at a news conference describing the program and its expansion.

Project English uses Rosetta Stone computer software and mentors to help new Americans, particularly adults, learn English.

Program organizer and director Heather Ranck said more than 2,500 refugees have settled in the metro in the last decade. While their children learn English quickly at school, adults often struggle with the language.

That makes it tougher for adults to become self-sufficient and upsets family dynamics, Ranck said.

“Go Rotary and go Rosetta Stone!” said Vonnie Sanders, director of the Fargo School District’s English Language Learners program. “We couldn’t do it alone. We need the help of the community.”

Project English sites now also include:

- Job Service North Dakota, 1350 32nd St. S., Fargo.

- Fargo Public Housing, 719 29th St. N., near Madison Elementary.

- Fargo Public Housing, Lashkowitz High Rise, 101 2nd St. S.

- Moorhead Adult Basic Education, 2215 12th Ave. S.

- Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S., Fargo

- CHARISM, McCormick Park, 612 23rd St. S., Fargo

- Fargo Public Library system’s James Carlson Library, 2801 32nd Ave. S.

The expansion began in March with the Holiday Inn site.

The program’s 143 volunteers have provided more than 1,000 hours of aid to 172 New Americans at the eight sites.

The local Rotary clubs provided about $12,900 in funding for the program, Ranck said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583