Adult Literacy and Basic Education

JCCGCI’s Adult Literacy and Basic Education program assists adults who are not literate in English and who lack a high school degree to gain the literacy, knowledge and skills for employment and self-sufficiency. The program also helps parents/guardians to gain the education to become full partners in their children’s education.

We serve those over 16 years old who are not in school, have not obtained a high school degree and are not literate in English, with the goal of helping them get a high school or equivalent diploma. Services are provided in communities throughout Brooklyn and in one location in Manhattan.

We offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at many sites in low-income, immigrant communities throughout Brooklyn. Participants include parents, seniors and current and future employees from such countries as Pakistan, Poland, China, Mexico, Russia as well as many Latino/Latina students, among others.

In FY 2011 there were more than 300 individuals enrolled in this program. Over half made enough of an educational gain to advance at least one (NRS) level. In 2012, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development gave the program a relatively rare rating of “excellent” after its site visit.

The Business ESL Pilot

Since 2010, JCCGCI has been in a strategic partnership with Upwardly Global to pilot a Business ESL class for highly motivated, immigrant professional job-seekers. The focus is on helping those with some English, but for whom English communication is still a barrier to employment, to develop advanced English skills in a business context.

The programs offer six months of classes for participants who were professionals in their countries of origin. They have extensive experience in the fields of IT, finance and accounting, engineering, social service, and architecture and design. Students focus on traditional English curriculum like grammar and vocabulary through facilitator-led instruction, while working on realistic business tasks like writing email, negotiating, and making verbal presentations.

For further information or to obtain adult literacy and basic education services from JCCGCI, call 718-449-5000 ext 2237 or email


JCCGCI thanks the New York State Education Department and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Services (DYCD) for the financial support for this program.

The Business ESL classes are made possible by an Adult Literacy grant from DYCD to JCCGCI.


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