The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program began in September 2011. There is a small school on-site and it focuses on teaching the children English to the point of fluency, building on their vocabulary and grammatical knowledge, and then schooling the children in other core subjects (math, science, social studies), all in English. The ESL program runs certain times of the year as volunteers are brought in.
The school serves two purposes. The first is to teach the children who are being adopted English to decrease the language barriers when they move to North America and ease the transition in being able to fully communicate with their adoptive families, as well as in their new schools, churches, and in everyday life. The second is to help open more job opportunities for the children who will stay and grow to adulthood in Haiti. Speaking English is a highly valued skill for both governmental and non-governmental organizations and therefore, improves the chances of adults finding meaningful and long-term employment.
The ESL program was also extended to adults in 2013. Once a week, adults from the community and Haitian staff members who work at HCH attend either the introductory, beginner, or advanced ESL classes.