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K-REDI board receives update on Kirksville ELL program

At a K-REDI board meeting on Tuesday, ELL Instructor Mary Chrisman updated board members on the classes. (KTVO File)

Earlier this year, it was announced the English Language Learners (ELL) program at the Kirksville Area Technical Center was losing a statewide grant to help fund classes.

As a result, Kirksville Regional Economic Development Incorporated (K-REDI), as well as entities like the City of Kirksville, Northeast Missouri Health Council, Preferred Family Healthcare, Smithfield Farmland in Milan and Northeast Regional Medical Center provided $10,000 in funding.

At a K-REDI board meeting on Tuesday, ELL Instructor Mary Chrisman updated board members on the classes.

She says many of those enrolled in the class are employed by Smithfield Farmland and Kraft Heinz.

K-REDI Executive Director Carolyn Chrisman says that nearly 50 students are currently taking part in the ELL classes.

"The majority are from the Congo, but they also have students from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Puerto Rico, Ghana and a variety of other places. The services truly are needed here in Kirksville."

The ELL program at the tech center focuses on conversational English and vocabulary.

Students have also been learning the proper terminology needed for job site services and healthcare.

Instructor Mary Chrisman says she soon hopes to offer field trips to students in the class.

She feels it would be beneficial for students to see first hand how entities such as the city and hospital operate.

ELL classes at the tech center are held four days a week. The courses take place both in the mornings and at night to help those that may work during the day and vice versa.

K-REDI board members were also told that a number of ELL students express gratitude to those that came together to help fund the classes.

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