Staff members Fathia Barkadle, far right, and Shineth Cunanan-Gonzales, second from the right, work with students at the Colorado Language Program. (Courtesy/Shineth Cunanan-Gonzales)
During the past year, the Colorado Language Program has helped give students, largely immigrants, the opportunity to progress forward with their citizenship, their English and their general education.
But now it’s the school itself that is progressing forward in a rather noticeable way.
The Colorado Language Program moved into the Greeley Mall on Sept. 1.
The CLP is a non-profit institution that offers adults in-person English as a Second Language classes, U.S. citizenship classes, GED test preparation and other education services.
Also, as of Sept. 21, the CLP is a licensed testing center for GED, professional examinations and ESL programs. The school also offers notary public services and job assistance.
Previously, the school operated out of a variety of locations, primarily local churches.
The move to the Greeley Mall allows the school to be closer to many of its students and potential students — which is key, considering many of these students don’t yet have their own transportation, according to the school’s founder and president, Shineth Cunanan-Gonzales.
“Most of our students are immigrants and many of them live in the apartments around the Greeley Mall,” Cunanan-Gonzales said. “It’s going to be convenient for them.”
Students at the Colorado Language Program. (Courtesy/Shineth Cunanan-Gonzales)
The CLP is hosting an open house 1 p.m. Saturday in its new location at 1905 Greeley Mall.
While the CLP previously had to share its space with church services, the move to the mall gives the school a home all its own. This eliminates the time limitations the school previously had to work around and allows the CLP to host more classes.
Also, for a couple months during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CLP was forced to go exclusively online. This presented challenges, as well, with most of the school’s students being a little older — in their 40s and 50s — and some of them not having access to reliable internet.
Now, with the move into the new location and with group gathering restrictions during the pandemic beginning to loosen, past hurdles have been cleared. And, Cunanan-Gonzales and her dedicated staff are excited to push forward and continue helping people in their quests to become citizens and learn English.
The new space in the mall is 2,400 square feet, and it’s exactly the type of home Cunanan-Gonzales and the Colorado Language Program have desired since the school was launched nearly a year ago.
“It was overwhelming, I felt so happy, because my students were so excited when I told them, ‘OK, I signed a contract for the school to be in the Greeley Mall,’ ” Cunanan-Gonzales said. “This is just the best location for the school.”
Bobby Fernandez covers Growth and Development for the Greeley Tribune. Reach him at (970) 392-4478, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.