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Classes for Spanish Speakers

Programs and Classes in Spanish and beginning English

Conversational ESL Program: Classes place the English learner at the center and rely on visual tools, small talk, and role play — all focusing on specific issues, including: making a doctor’s appointment, placing an emergency call, parent/teacher conferences, and more. Students are also welcome to bring their 3-6 year olds with them. While parents learn English, library staff read books, make crafts, and play games with the children. Classes offered Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m. in the Bradbury Room for eight week sessions. Call 847-623-2041, ext. 273 or talonso [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Conversational%20ESL) (email) to register.
Supported in part by the American Dream Starts @ Your Library grant.


Leamos Spanish Literacy Program: A web-based, self-paced class developed by adult and career education specialists and community colleges. Leamos teaches language structure on computers as the first step to learning beyond basic reading and writing. Classes offered Monday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Computer Learning Center. Call 847-623-2041, ext. 262 or cpatlan [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Leamos) (email )to register.


HACES, Inc. Citizenship Program (Hispanic American Community Education & Services, Inc.): Classes taught in English and Spanish help students prepare for the naturalization test. Students learn the 100 questions and practice their writing, reading, and speaking in English. Classes offered Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Adult Literacy Classroom. Call 847-623-2041, ext. 262 or cpatlan [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: HACES) (email )to register.



Spanish GED: Classes to improve the basic Reading, Writing and Math skills of students who wish to obtain their GED in Spanish. Students receive one hour of instruction in Math and one hour of instruction in either Reading or Writing each week. Classes are conducted in Spanish on Saturdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Adult Literacy Suite. Call 847-623-2041, ext. 225 or janderson [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Spanish%20pre-GED) (email )to register.
Supported in part by the American Dream Starts @ Your Library grant.



Spanish Computer Classes: Classes are available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level students. Classes are held on weekdays and weekends during the day and evening. Go here for more information or call 847-623-2041, ext. 234.




Families Learning Together ESL: Basic reading, writing, and math classes for families. Children learn through stories, music and activities, while their parents are in the classroom next door. Children must be aage 0 – 6 years, and parents must not have a high school diploma or a GED. Children must attend with their parents. Call 847-623-2041, ext. 223 or galegraves [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Families%20Learning%20Together%20ESL) (email )to register.



Los Bilinguitos: Kids ages 4 to 7 will give their imaginations a workout, listening to bilingual stories, singing songs and creating craft projects in the art center. Sundays from 3:30-4 p.m. and Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. in the Early Learning Center. Walk-ins are welcome. Go here for more information about all our children’s programs.




“The Social Worker is In”: Walk-in free consultations with a licensed social worker at the Library. The social worker is available first come first served on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the main floor of the library.




Functional Health Literacy Navigation: A four-week program to teach participants the current health care options that may be available to them, connect them with a primary health care provider, and educate them on when to and when not to seek hospital emergency care. Classes are held Mondays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Call 847-623-2041, ext. 273 or talonso [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Health%20Literacy%20Class) (email )to register.
Supported in part by the American Dream Starts @ Your Library grant.


Rules of the Road: Learn how to acquire your Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License. Call 847-623-2041, ext. 273 or talonso [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Rules%20of%20the%20Road) (email )for more information.



Success Stories

Rosa Aguayo formerly struggled with her English and twice-failed her verbal Citizenship Exam. After eight weeks of classes at the Library, she passed her exam and is now a U.S. Naturalized Citizen. The Library’s program changed her life and gave her the confidence to register to vote and become a proud and engaged member of our community.

Gabriela Luna, a young mother of two, successfully completed a conversational ESL program at the Library, equipping her with the tools and confidence to enroll in College of Lake County’s GED program. Upon completion of her course of study, Gabriela will be better prepared to enter into the workforce. The Library has changed Gabriela’s life and now she is moving forward with her education! In addition, Andrea, Gabriela’s 12-year-old daughter is now on the school honor roll thanks to the Library’s Homework Help Program.

Meet our Promotoras Team!

The Promotoras engage the Latino community of Waukegan on the street and in the library to find out how the library can better serve the needs of Spanish speaking adults, children, and families. The information is then used to build innovative and impactful programs that are relevant to the population we serve. In just one year, the Promotoras registered more than 826 new Latino patrons in the library and over half are now active cardholders, checking out materials on a monthly basis.

Awarded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the American Library Association (ALA) and its Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), the Waukegan Public Library’s Promotoras program joins a cohort of 100 previously funded programs in Dollar General communities. The award-winning American Dream libraries built easily replicable programs, developed coalition-building strategies and provided annotated lists of proven resources for libraries across the country serving adult English language learners.

If you are interested in joining our Promotoras team, please call Carmen Patlan at 847-623-2041, ext. 262 or cpatlan [at] waukeganpl [dot] info (subject: Promotoras) (email).