TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the first time ever, Tulare County Library is offering free English as a Second Language, or ESL classes to adults.
California State Library granted the county library in Visalia $30,000 to kick off the program.
Librarian Jonathan Waltmire has been working behind the scenes to help make the program happen.
Courses are open to all Tulare County residents, but Waltmire looks forward to reaching the counties' large Spanish-speaking community.
"Language is a barrier for many. And so when you're in a different country, different language, being able to understand what you see around you, what you read, what you share is definitely part of being able to succeed." says Jonathan.
Tulare County Library hopes to reach as many English learners as they can.
Weekly online courses will be offered in three levels, beginning, intermediate and advanced.
Life, educational health and workforce skills will also be a part of monthly presentations.
The goal is to connect learners to community opportunities, including jobs.
Waltmire explains, "Finding work in this area has always been a challenge. We have a high unemployment rate, and then some of the jobs that we have are not full time, maybe they're seasonal."
Books, materials and electronic devices will be provided.
In-person tutoring is also available.
ESL courses kick off the third week of August and will continue into 2023, as long as funding is available..
Enrollment is currently open and will be open throughout the course.
To sign up, you can call the Tulare County Library Literacy Center at 559-713-2745 or visit here.