Delaware Hispanic Needs Grants Awarded

DCF’s Arsht-Cannon Fund Awards $150,000 to Five Nonprofit Programs to Help Hispanic Delawareans Learn English


Wilmington, DE – The Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs has awarded $150,000 in grants to support five community-based programs that help Spanish-dominant immigrants improve their abilities to read, speak and write in English. According to Dr. Christine Cannon, consultant to the Arsht-Cannon Fund of the Delaware Community Foundation that funded the grants, “When linguistic isolation in families is reduced, opportunities and the quality of life for all members improve.” The five programs selected from 23 nonprofit organizational applicants throughout the state include:

Lutheran Church of Our Savior in eastern Sussex County will receive $30,000 to focus their ESL (English as a Second Language) programs for mothers with young children; acknowledging the need to strengthen the active role that parents play in the education of their children. In addition to certified teachers, church volunteers mentor families enrolled in the program.

New Castle County Community Partnership, Inc.’s HELLO (Hispanic English Language Learning Opportunity) program will receive $35,000 to expand opportunities for English Language Learners (ELL) and ESL education to adults in the Middletown, Odessa and Townsend area and northern Kent County. St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Middletown will provide in-kind classroom and daycare space.

Pencader Hundred Community Center and Voices Without Borders grassroots “For Us” project will receive $13,950 to combine English language learning with civic engagement and foster access to information, services, and opportunities for Latino immigrants in the Sparrow Run area.

St. Paul Roman Catholic Parish will receive $21,050 to provide teaching resources and teacher training to establish ESL programs for Hispanic families residing in the Stanton-Newark area. Spanish-speaking employees of Delaware Park will benefit from a unique collaboration from a Delaware Horseman’s Assistance Fund counselor and social worker and volunteers from the Just Faith Social Justice Program centered at Holy Angels Parish in Newark.

Sussex Technical Adult Division’s Even Start Family Literacy program will receive $50,000 to expand their established ESL, early childhood education, parent education and Parents And Children Together (PACT) offerings to Hispanic families. Parents and their children will learn English along with citizenship education, nutrition and health services. The Delaware State Housing Authority at Laverty Lane, Woodbridge High School and Wheatley Middle School will provide classroom space and other resources.

These five new or expanded language programs incorporate practical life skills and communication with schools, health providers, employers and others in the rapidly growing and underserved areas of Delaware.

Representatives from the nonprofit organizations receiving the grants will be recognized by Governor Jack Markell at a reception on March 25, 2009 in The Delaware Room of the Delaware Public Archives, 121 Duke of York Street in Dover, Delaware from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. For more information about these programs or the reception, please contact Dr. Christine Cannon by calling 302.737.7703 or email

About the Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs – Established by former Governor Ruth Ann Minner to identify and address the many unique challenges and unmet needs of Delaware’s Hispanic population, members represent business, government, finance, education and nonprofit organizations and enhance the work of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic Affairs. Continuing support for the Consortium has been provided by the Arsht-Cannon Fund of the Delaware Community Foundation, and other foundations and governmental entities. The Arsht-Cannon Fund, endowed by the late Honorable Roxana and Samuel Arsht and under advisement by their daughter Adrienne Arsht, supports projects that address the greatest unmet needs of Hispanic Delawareans.

About the Delaware Community Foundation – The Delaware Community Foundation manages charitable funds for individuals, families, businesses and organizations, and distributes income from the funds as grants to humanitarian, educational, health and cultural entities throughout the First State. With nearly 900 funds, more than $230 million in assets and annual grants of over $15 million, the Foundation provides a lasting source of charitable funding to benefit Delawareans today and for generations to come. For more than 20 years the Foundation has been connecting people who care with the causes they care about, helping to make Delaware a better place to live and work. For information, please call 302.571.8004 or visit

Photo Caption: Volunteers and prospective students gather to celebrate a grant to St. Paul Roman Catholic Parish to provide teaching resources and teacher training to establish English as a Second Language programs for Hispanic families residing in central New Castle County, including Spanish-speaking stable area employees of Delaware Park. From left to right, Dr. Leo (Sandy) Landoll of the Holy Angels Parish; Wes Jones, LCSW, Director of the Backstretch Employee Assistance Program of the DHAF; Octavio Amaro Guerrero and Elizabeth Vega, ESL students at Delaware Park; Friar Michael Tyson of St. Paul Church, Lilia Arriaga and Juan Perez Corona, ESL students at Delaware Park; Miguel Gutierrez and Lissette D Alfaro of St. Paul Church in Wilmington.