CLC's 40th Anniversary
More than 400 students, staff, alumni, and friends packed the Senior Center in Central Square November 4 to help the Community Learning Center celebrate its 40th anniversary. More than 200 students provided delicious food from their native countries—30 in all.
Special thanks go to Fishtail Kitchen, Bom Café, Annapurna Restaurant, and Mu Que Ca, and Trader Joe’s for their donations and to the planning committee of staff, students and outreach workers who spent months organizing the event.
City officials Mayor David Maher, Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis, Ellen Semonoff, assistant city manager for human services, and Rich Rossi, deputy city manager, were all in attendance. Alumna Rabeya Akther described how CLC changed her life since she started ESOL classes in 2003. She is now a U.S. citizen getting ready for college. And Hennery Verdier wowed the crowd with his rendition of “Haiti Love.”
The Community Learning Center opened in 1971 as a small neighborhood program with federal Model Cities funding. It grew rapidly to a staff of 22 full-time and 44 part-time teachers, 45 volunteer tutors and classroom aides, and 1000 students each year from 70 countries. In addition to its core classes, CLC provides a transition to college program, workplace education at three Cambridge Hospitals, citizenship classes, computer classes, job readiness services, and family literacy activities. CLC is also known for its student leadership programs, which train adult students and community members to work as community outreach workers, literacy ambassadors, or job mentors.
Other 40th anniversary activities have included a staff and student art show, an essay contest, involvement in the Story Trade project, and creation of an alumni association. CLC expects to move into its beautiful new home in the former police station in Central Square in about a year.