ESOL Report Findings
A report commissioned by the Montgomery County Council has concluded that the county's services for adults learning English as a second language should be better coordinated and made available to more people. The council created a task force, chaired by council member Tom Perez (D-Silver Spring), to address the issue.
At a news conference this week, Perez said that when adults cannot speak English, the problem is twofold: They "can't get a job that pays the living wage," and they cannot help their children succeed in school.
Officials commended local ESOL providers for providing crucial services to county immigrants, who speak at least 123 languages. Montgomery College and county public schools teach ESOL to 18,000 adults each year, and many other organizations do so, too.
The study concluded that it is not necessary for the services to be centralized, just better coordinated. Among the possibilities suggested by the study, conducted by the Montgomery College and the Center for Applied Linguistics:
* Holding classes in high-need apartment complexes.
* Training college students as volunteer tutors and providing professional development for existing tutors.
* Increasing the number of courses held more than 10 hours a week.
* Creating a directory of ESOL providers.
Cleaning Up Rockville
Rockville is sponsoring the city's annual Clean Up Day on Saturday to encourage residents to clean up large items from back yards, porches, driveways and other areas.
"We are hoping to get the word out that we want to help residents who are unsure of where and how to dispose of large items that wouldn't go out in the normal trash," said Bill Calloway, a city housing code inspector.
Receptacles for items as large as 50 pounds will be at Twinbrook Recreation Center, 12920 Twinbrook Pkwy., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Items that can be discarded include lawn furniture, wood, metal items and yard debris. Hazardous materials and motor vehicle parts will not be accepted. For more information, call Calloway at 240-314-8335.
Senior Center Expands
A new social hall has opened at Holiday Park Senior Center in Wheaton, which will allow the center to serve more residents.
Holiday Park, which now serves about 700 seniors a day, is the county's largest senior center. The social hall will be used for special events as well as exercise and fitness classes.
The cost of the $800,000 expansion was split evenly between the county and the state.
New MVA Kiosk
A state Motor Vehicle Administration self-service kiosk has opened at the Glenmont Express Motor Vehicle Administration office in the Glenmont Shopping Center in Wheaton.
The kiosk offers services such as registration renewal, completing a change of address request, ordering a copy of driving records, and filing for a vehicle emission inspection extension.
It is the fourth kiosk in Montgomery. Others are in the Gaithersburg full-service office, the Walnut Hill express office and White Flint Mall in North Bethesda.
The Glenmont office, 12335 Georgia Ave., is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays. For more information, call 800-950-1682 or visit www.marylandmva.com.
Staff writers Linda Perlstein and Mark Jones contributed to this report.