The BNSF Foundation has awarded a grant of $3,000 to the Community College of Aurora Foundation to support the Community English as a Second Language (ESL) program at the Community College of Aurora. The college’s highly respected Community ESL program serves nearly 1,800 adult community members each year. Brad Pierce, president of the CCAF board of directors, accepted the gift on behalf of the college and foundation from Trey Davila, director of administration, BNSF Colorado division.
The gift will support the purchase and availability of in-class textbooks for immigrants and refugees in CCA’s Community ESL program. The program teaches English to adults through a curriculum that is designed to help students learn the language skills they need for work and day-to-day life in the United States. The classes cover speaking, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar. Classwork includes practice with real-life experiences such as filling out forms, reading labels, and finding jobs. Community ESL students are also eligible to take free basic computer classes.
The BNSF Foundation had been BNSF Railway’s main vehicle for charitable giving since 1996 when the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroads merged to form the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, now known as the BNSF Railway. The BNSF Foundation has supported and helped improve quality of life for thousands of communities across the 28 states through which BNSF operates, and where BNSF employees live, work and volunteer.
CCAF provides financial support to CCA and its students through fundraising, and serves to build public and business awareness of the college and its benefits to the eastern metro area. Last year CCAF completed a successful $1.4 million capital campaign to complete Phase One of its Lowry Expansion Initiative, and to date has awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships to CCA students and faculty.
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From left: Stephanie Lawton, program coordinator/lead teacher, CCA Community ESL, Aurora Language Center; Chris Ward, CCA executive director, grants and planning; Diana Brady-Herndon, assistant coordinator, CCA ESL program, Aurora Language Center; Brad Pierce, board president, CCA Foundation; Trey Davila, director of administration, BNSF Colorado Division; Cody Parker, trainmaster, BNSF Denver; and Dan Clark, terminal superintendent, BNSF Denver.