Training And Support Banner

EL Civics: Making a Difference in the Community Awards

A key focus of the California English Literacy and Civics Education (EL Civics) program is for adult students to acquire the language and literacy skills to become citizens, exercise the rights and duties of citizenship and enrich the communities in which they live. This award recognizes EL Civics programs that teach skills required for citizenship and empower students to make a difference in the community. CASAS, in conjunction with the California Department of Education, identifies programs that make a difference in the community through EL Civics lessons and activities. To be recognized as a Making a Difference Award recipient, agencies must meet specific data collection criteria, document the effectiveness of their project and show that the project goes beyond the classroom to affect the community in a positive manner.

2012-13 Making A Difference In The Community Award

  •  ABC Adult School: International Day


2011 - 12 EL Civics: Making a Difference Award

  • MiraCosta Community College District: Nutrition Module
  • Oceanside Adult School: Dress a Girl around the World

2010 - 11 EL Civics: Making a Difference Award (Brochure) get adobe reader

  • Rancho Santiago Community College District: Orange Education Center Associated Student Government (ASG) at Orange Education Center
2009-10 Promising Practices and Making a Difference Awards (Brochure) get adobe reader
  • Coast Community College District - Le-Jao Center Bridges to Success Cohort Program
  • Contra Costa County Office of Education: Santa Fe Springs Parole Site - Pathways to Employment through the Parolee Education Program
  • Inglewood Adult School - CCAE Meets the Inglewood Student Council
  • Los Angeles USD: Abram Friedman Occupation Center - Managing ABE & ASE Testing Through Accurate Reporting
  • Mira Costa College - Using EL Civics Assessments to Prepare for Post Secondary Transition
  • Sacramento City USD: Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center - ABE to CTE Pathways Program
  • Sacramento City USD: Florin Technology Center - ESL Orientation/Success Class
  • San Diego Community College District - I-BEST Model Applied to VESL Personal Care Assistant/Caregiver Class
  • Making a Difference Award: Fremont Adult School - Saving Fremont Adult School!

2008-09 EL Civics: Making a Difference in the Community Awards (Brochure) get adobe reader

  • Corona-Norco Adult School- Corona Community Free Health Screening Camp
  • North Orange Community College District- Knowledge in Action: US Workplace Expectations and Soft Skills
  • Old Marshall Adult School (Sacramento City Unified School District) - Multi-Cultural Health Fair

2007-08 EL Civics: Making a Difference in the Community Awards (Brochure) get adobe reader

2005-06 EL Civics: Making a Difference in the Community Awards

2004-05 EL Civics: Making a Difference in the Community Awards

Informational Presentations Please select a title below to view the presentation:

2007-08 EL Civics Making a Difference Award Recipients

Harbor House, California
U.S. History and Cultures Class

Harbor House has developed an extremely innovative EL Civics curriculum to teach students about US History. This curriculum includes creative activities that engage adult learners and make EL Civics lessons more applicable to their lives. Students study the history of the United States using children’s literature and quilt making, focusing on immigration and the US immigrant experience. The goal of this project is to go above and beyond learning basic English skills, and to build connections between the life stories of students and those of their neighbors. For more information click here. get adobe reader

New Haven Adult School, California
Windows into Culture

The Windows into Culture activity enables students to learn from each other by showcasing their cultures through songs, dances, skits, monologues, and a fashion show of traditional costumes. Windows into Culture is a comprehensive program in which EL Civics students learn more about their own cultures and the cultures of fellow students. The Windows into Culture show is the culminating activity of this EL Civics curriculum, and the entire school is involved in the preparation and execution of the event. For more information click here. get adobe reader

San Diego Community College District, Continuing Education Division , California
Immigrant Rights Program

San Diego CCD created an innovative immigrant rights program in order to address the need among students to learn about what to do when faced with difficult immigration issues. Students learned about their rights if stopped and asked about immigration status, and gathered information about community resources designed to help the immigrant population. Students created directories of social services, and shared these directories with the rest of the school and the outside community. For more information click here. get adobe reader

Ventura Adult and Community Education, California
Channel Islands Restoration Project

Ventura Adult and Continuing Education reached a new height for field trips with the Channel Islands Restoration Project. Fifteen EL Civics students participated in a four-day field trip to Santa Cruz Island to assist the Channel Islands Restoration (CIR) personnel at the University of California at Santa Barbara field station. EL Civics students planned the trip and shared their experiences with the community. For more information click here. get adobe reader

2005-06 EL Civics Making a Difference Award Recipients

Anderson Valley Adult School, California
Secrets of Salsa

The women of Anderson Valley’s EL Civics classes created Secrets of Salsa, a cookbook of traditional family recipes never written down. Native English-speaking community members joined the project as volunteers to do artwork, computer work, and photography for the cookbook, and ultimately produced a film documenting the entire process. In addition to the Secrets of Salsa project, the women organized a quilt-making and storytelling project with the adult school and Even Start. Some of the women have made presentations to teachers at educational conferences and several have given cooking classes. Because of increased self-esteem and language abilities, many of the women are getting their citizenship, passing the GED, and transitioning to job training or college classes. Secrets of Salsa has helped both the students and the community adapt to each other’s cultures in a creative way! For more information click here. get adobe reader

BASE (Basic Adult Spanish Education)
Saving Lives in the San Fernando Valley, California

EL Civics classes at BASE in Canoga Park offer CPR and first aid training — training specifically requested by the students as one of their objectives. They needed improved English language skills plus CPR and first aid training in order to volunteer at their children’s schools. The training has given the students the confidence they needed to volunteer and has provided the expertise to handle emergencies: three graduates whose family members had heart attacks were able to manage the situations until paramedics arrived, and one student reported using the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a small toy her child had swallowed. Also, a group of students created and used posters illustrating emergency health and safety issues to make oral presentations to their classes and to the parents at their children’s schools. For more information click here. get adobe reader

Ventura Adult School, California
Empowering Students to Become Involved in Government

An intermediate/advanced EL Civics class at Ventura Adult decided to learn how to access information that they could use to participate in school and local government activities. After touring City Hall and talking with a member of the City Council, the class felt empowered to speak to local officials about making health care available to more than five thousand children in Ventura who did not qualify for health insurance. When the class discovered the County Board of Supervisors would be addressing the topic in the coming months, the students hand carried letters they had written to the board meetings where two students were asked to make a presentation. Although the Children’s Healthcare Initiative has not yet passed in Ventura, the students have become increasingly aware of local issues, of their ability to make a difference in the community, and of the need to continue their work to improve community life. For more information click here. get adobe reader

Vista Adult School, California
“Talking with Police”: Bringing Law Enforcement and the Community Together

For many adult students, depending upon their cultural background, talking with police may evoke an array of negative emotions. Vista Adult School met this issue head on with their “Talking with Police” program. The year-long program, with supporting curriculum, incorporated suggestions from the Vista Weed and Seed Program and the Vista Crime Prevention Commission. The program was particularly timely after three officer-involved fatalities occurred in Vista in August 2005. The officers’ presentations and the community discussions that followed were very valuable. The officers were open and honest, and they encouraged questions leading to a great deal of interaction. As a result of the presentations, one student submitted an application to become a volunteer translator for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Vista Division; several students scheduled appointments with the community service officer to report crimes in their apartment complexes; and several other students referred family members to these agencies. The “Talking with Police” program has helped the Vista Adult EL Civics/ESL student population feel connected to, and confident in, the community in which they live and work. For more information click here. get adobe reader

2004-05 Making a Difference Award Recipients

Bakersfield Adult School
EL Civics students at Bakersfield Adult School have been studying democracy in action. Recently five students shadowed a member of the Kern County Board of Supervisors for a day and learned about the supervisor’s duties and responsibilities. In the past 3 years, 15 students have been able to shadow a supervisor, and another 100 have attended sessions in chambers to watch county government in action. On completion of the activities, students realize they have the right to participate in local decision-making. One job-shadow student was invited to talk to a citizenship class about what he had learned. Another student said that she now frequently watches supervisors’ meetings on TV. For more information click here. get adobe reader

Fresno Adult School
The Navigator Project is a collaborative effort with Fresno Metro Ministries, Community Medical Centers of Fresno, and Fresno Adult School to train EL Civics/ESL students to become change agents in dispelling the fears that the Hispanic community has about navigating the health care system. Students learn to navigate the health care system themselves and then to present that information to others. The project is in its first year and will culminate with graduation in December 2005. One student has already received an offer of employment upon graduation. Several students have spoken at Fresno Metro Ministries, and all students will serve as mentors to other students who are currently signing up for the next round. The goal of the project is to prepare students to advocate for their own health care rights and feel empowered to share their new-found knowledge with others. For more information click here. get adobe reader

Los Angeles Community Adult School
In 2002-03, after visiting local service agencies, EL Civics students at Los Angeles Community Adult School created a Directory of Community Services highlighting the services provided. As a culminating event, the students organized a community resources fair attended by many agencies listed in the directory. Now in its fourth year, the fair and the directory are part of the yearly activities of the EL Civics program. The May 2005 fair showcased 55 community agencies with 1,250 students and community members participating. A quote from one student illustrates the extent of increased community involvement: “It’s easier to find a solution to a problem. I know the people (in the directory and at the fair) are able to help me. I’m able to help my neighbors with any problem through the community resources.” For more information click here. get adobe reader

Vista Adult School
In Vista an intermediate/advanced EL Civics class studied disaster preparedness — earthquakes, fires, illnesses, and terrorist attacks, what constitutes emergencies and disasters, and appropriate actions to take in reporting crisis situations. Students worked to prepare their own households for an extended disaster, and as a result, 12 students became disaster preparedness trainers. They organized a health and safety fair, and four students made presentations in their community, with one student providing disaster preparedness training at his apartment complex and another at his church. One student is now serving on the local Community Advisory Committee. For more information click here. get adobe reader

The EL Civics students in these programs can now do something they could not do previously. Their lives, and the lives of their families, have been changed forever. This is the goal of the EL Civics program in California.

© 2019 by CASAS. All rights reserved.