Breaking Down Barriers

Monday, March 4, 2013 - 3:50pm

Library's English lessons go far beyond vocabulary and grammar.

Arizona's Pima County libraries provide more than books.

They recently received a $15,000 grant from the American Library Association.

The money will help keep English learning classes going strong in ten branches and the lessons go way beyond grammar and comprehension.

"In Peru when you meet somebody, especially between ladies, you give a hug and you give a kiss. Here you need to put the distance," said immigrant Elena Brown.

A firm handshake was foreign but she soon realized to learn the culture she'd have to get better at the language.

"Having personal words with the cashier, the cashier says what are you doing? I'm saying, 'she wants to know about my personal life?' it was my first culture shock," said Brown.

So she did some research and found a free service offered by Pima County libraries. It's an English learning program hosted by literacy connects.

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