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The Community Education Project

 Teaching and Learning in our Community


Adult Basic Education Classes


CEP is a member of the Juntos Collaborative, a network of ABE service and work force development providers. CEP provides a variety of adult and family educational opportunities in the diverse Holyoke community. We began in 1991 as an ESL program based in the Latino community. Today our educational programming includes:





“When we came here, we couldn’t even order fast food for dinner. We couldn’t go to the doctor by our selves. We even needed someone to translate for us at the post office. Now we feel very comfortable going everywhere by our selves. We can ask directions and questions, and find out whatever we want to know all by our selves. Now we feel that we are able to help our kids in school, and help them with their needs because we understand more English, thanks to the ESOL classes. Our teachers make us feel that we have the power to do anything that we set as our goal; that nothing it’s impossible, and that there is help out there. You just need to go to the right place like we did. Thank you CEP.”


~ESOL Students

Native Language / Pre-ESOL Literacy in Spanish English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL): two levels Family Literacy - ESOL Class ABE - Transition to College and Careers Program




CEP provides two levels of ESOL classes. The CEP/ESOL classroom is student centered and employs a whole language immersion approach to instruction. The goal of the CEP/ESOL classroom is to have students speaking English 70% or more of their class time. Spanish or other native language usage during class time is strongly discouraged in order to promote increased English proficiency in our students.


Practical, useful vocabulary is generated by students themselves as well as from the thematic units developed cooperatively by teachers and students. Thematic curriculum units include health and nutrition issues relevant to the community, job readiness and employment, how to use computers, and money management (e.g. budgets, banks, investing). Field trips to other community based and social service agencies, community meetings and workshops, museums, libraries, and historic sites are also incorporated into the class schedule and curriculum. Students are taught how to use computers and how to access Internet based learning resources and how to use them to further their educational and employment related goals. Students are encouraged to be involved and engaged in their community.



Level II (SPL 3-5) is designed for those who speak a little English, but want to develop their vocabulary and improve their ability to speak grammatically correct English. The class is student centered (i.e. the curriculum includes content requested by the students) and is focused on developing the confidence and ability to speak in English. In addition to academic content, the class includes practical strategies on how to learn more English outside of class.


Level III (SPL 5-7) builds on the English language skills developed in Level II. Level III students are expected to have the confidence and the ability to initiate English language exchanges. The Level III class curriculum reviews and reinforces previously introduced English language skills including present, past, and future tense forms of the verbs. Compound verb tenses (e.g. present perfect, past perfect, and conditional tense), clauses, and phrases are introduced to support higher level English level proficiency. Additionally, more advanced reading comprehension and writing are included in the students’ classroom work.


Level II Schedule:

Monday and Wednesday

9:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Level III Schedule:

Tuesday and Thursday

9:00 - 1:30 PM

 For more information: Call 413-538-5770


For more information:

Call 413-538-5770



Tuesday and Thursday 12:30-3:00PM at Sullivan School



The ABE Transition to College and Careers Program reflects a 12 year collaboration between CEP and Holyoke Community College. This free comprehensive program is a bridge to higher education for people in Hampden and Hampshire Counties. Individuals who are at least 18 years old, have earned a high school diploma more than four years ago, or who have a GED are encouraged to apply. The ABE-TCC class provides a supportive community learning environment for people who have experienced barriers to higher education; who feel academically or otherwise unprepared for college. The curriculum includes instruction in Math, Reading and Writing aimed at developing college level proficiency. Computer skills and study strategies are taught; extensive mentoring and tutoring services are provided. Intensive career exploration and counseling are required. Every graduate from the ABE-TCC program leaves the program with an educational plan tied to a chosen career pathway to jobs that pay family sustaining wages.


The ABE-TCC day class takes place on the campus of Holyoke Community College. Addressing the educational scheduling needs of working adults, the evening Bridge to ABE-TCC class meets at the new Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center in downtown Holyoke.


* Free bus passes are provided for students who require access to public transportation.


ABE/ABE Transition to College & Careers Program


Aisling Buckley, Instructor

Mary Martone, Assistant to Coordinator



ABE - TCC class@HCC

Monday / Wednesday / Friday  9:15 AM-1:15 PM


Bridge to ABE-TCC at Picknelly Center:

Tuesday /Thursday 5:30 PM-8:30 PM


For more information:

Call the coordinator ABE/ABE Transition to College & Careers Program 413-552-2852




"I found the ABE/ABE Transition to College & Careers Program enlightening and informative. Without this program I probably wouldn't have considered going back to school. I felt too intimidated and frustrated. Thank you to the staff of the program for all of your support.


~Betty Vasquez '07


The Community Education Project (CEP) has been providing Native Language/Pre-ESOL Literacy classes in Spanish in Holyoke for 20 years. These free classes prepare adults from Spanish speaking countries who do not have a high school diploma to study for the GED in Spanish. Eligibility is limited to recently arrived new-comers and those whose formal education was previously conducted in Spanish. This program is supported by grants from the Holyoke Community Block Grant Program and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.




“When we started this class some of us couldn’t even write our names. All of us had left school years ago. Now with this class we are able to write a letter for the first time. Now we can do math and go to the bank to get our money to pay the bills. Before this class, we needed someone to do that for us. To be out of school for so long and come back thinking that we don’t know much, or remember anything is painful. Our teacher helped us refresh our memories, and she has helped us get back on track . It’s a feeling of happiness that is hard to explain. Thank you CEP.”


~NLL Students



Native Language Literacy:


Jose Quevedo, Instructor




9:00 AM-1:30 PM


For more information:

Call 413-538-5770




This comprehensive family literacy program involves a primary partnership between the Holyoke Public Schools / Pathways to Family Success Initiative, the Community Education Project and Sullivan School in Holyoke.


Located at Sullivan School, up to 14 low-income families with children enrolled in classes K-6 participate in an afternoon program of co-located parent/child educational and family enrichment activities (PACT) held twice a week. While children are engaged in their school classes, parents attend their own Family Literacy / ESOL class provided by CEP at Sullivan School.


The contextualized English language curriculum is designed to address the objectives of promoting increased English proficiency and helping parents learn how to become more effectively engaged in their children's education at Sullivan School and beyond. Comprehensive counseling/case management including referrals to health, employment, educational and other community support services for families is included.


Parent/child educational activities include parents visiting their child’s class; outside of the classroom activities include field trips to area museums and other cultural resources; civic engagement activities like the Sullivan School community spring clean-up and planting.

English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL): two levels Native Language / Pre-ESOL Literacy in Spanish
Family Literacy - ESOL Class
ABE - Transition to College and Careers Program

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(413) 538-5770         info@cepholyoke.org          317 Main Street Holyoke, MA 01040

© 2018 CEP. All Rights Reserved. Holyoke. Massachusetts. Fighting for a better education and the future of our community.