Families in the Geneseo area will continue to receive help with their English-language skills, thanks in part to a five-year grant awarded to Cultures Learning Together Inc. through the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.
Formerly called Project Together, Cultures Learning Together helps to serve the English-language needs of the migrant community. The group officially announced in January 2021 that it had received nonprofit status.
Cultures Learning Together aims to help members of the area’s Spanish-speaking community with their English proficiency while giving SUNY Geneseo students the opportunity to practice their Spanish-language skills.
According to Miguel Valencia-Vallejo, a Cultures Learning Together board member, the organization plans to use the grant to:
• implement a payroll for the organization’s officers as well as students tutors who do not receive college credit for their work at the organization;
• host more events; and
• pay such general operation expenses as rent and program supplies.
“The end goal is to use this funding to provide better services for our current families and to grow our reach within the community to help a greater number of people,” Valencia-Vallejo said.
In addition to the Greater Rochester Health Foundation grant, Cultures Learning Together also was awarded a grant from the Presbyterian Central Church in Geneseo, which is where Cultures Learning Together is located.
Both grants, in addition to support from the community, helped the organization provide lessons and activities to families during the winter break, said Rocío Vallejo-Alegre, president and program director at Cultures Learning Together. She explained that in the past, families would have to take a monthlong break, since SUNY Geneseo students who serve as tutors are typically unavailable during the holiday season.
Instead of taking a pause, Rocío coordinated efforts with such local agencies as the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts to facilitate learning experiences that provided participants with the opportunity and environment in which to practice their English-language skills. Such activities as dance and art lessons were scheduled to take place January, she said.
According to Valencia-Vallejo, Cultures Learning Together will continue to help those who are limited by language and cultural barriers by continuing to offer cultural and language support services to those in need throughout the region.
EDITOR’S NOTE: To learn more about Cultures Learning Together, or to donate, volunteer or request services, visit www.cultureslearningtogether.org.