Grant allows library to create lab for language-learning

The more than 500 people utilizing Mesa County Public Library language classes have a new learning lab to aid them in their pursuit of a second language.

The eight-computer language learning lab, downstairs in the Mesa County Central Library at 530 Grand Ave., and a 10-laptop-computer mobile learning lab were paid for through the Colorado State Library Broadband Technology Opportunity Program Grant Project. The project provided funds to 76 libraries across the state.

Libraries were selected for a piece of the $3.3 million grant based on each community’s poverty level, ethnic diversity and demand for public access to broadband, according to Sharon Morris, director of library development for Colorado State Library.

The learning lab and laptops cost $35,166. The library provided $3,700 for the project, and the rest of the money came through the grant, funded by the federal government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The stationary lab will help people learn English, Spanish and about a dozen other languages through software and online programs available at the library, according to Karen Kllanxhja, head of literacy services at the library.

“We have students from 34 countries,” Kllanxhja said. “Most have a little bit of English, but want to learn more.”

The laptops will travel to other Mesa County library branches, Homeward Bound Homeless Shelter, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Community Corrections and Western Colorado Community College to aid volunteers in teaching language classes as well as classes that teach people computer skills, such as how to write a resume, search for a job on the Web or use various computer programs.

The laptops also will be used at Rocky Mountain Elementary School, where library volunteers teach two language classes a week to parents of the school’s students.


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