It’s back-to-school time, but not just for kids. Queens Public Library offers many learning opportunities for adults who want to finish their high school education, learn English, complete basic education, and more.  This fall, we will be offering ESOL from beginning to advanced levels, high school equivalency (HSE) and pre-HSE, HSE beginner and intermediate classes in Spanish, basic literacy skills classes, and a range of elective classes to students who are currently enrolled in classes. Electives include computer literacy class, citizenship study circle, civics/social issues, creative writing, and academic skills prep. This fall, classes will be both in-person and virtual. 

QPL’s Director of Community Learning Fatma Ghailan shared how the program’s team adapted during the pandemic shift to virtual classes. “The transition from in person classes to virtual classes required team work, planning, and flexibility. The Adult Learning team has been very hard working throughout this process...even though our team is dedicated, everyone went above and beyond and demonstrated acts of selflessness. The QPL ALP staff prioritized serving the community while simultaneously supporting their students and fellow colleagues.” 

What’s been most challenging has been “reaching out to every single student and serving everyone as well as facilitating with our community and community partners. In addition, another challenge was making sure that all staff have the technology needed for training and teaching online. The most rewarding part is how much closer the team has become as well as supportive of each other.” 

David Campos, assistant manager with adult learning, teaches English as a second language and adult basic education as well as assisting in administering the state TASC test, formerly known as the GED. He says the challenge for many of holding adult learning classes virtually was to “learn via a new medium under stressful circumstances with the presence of COVID-19.” This fall, he is looking forward to “meeting new students while watching our current students reach their personal goals one step at a time and just being positive members in our communities.” 

Jennifer Jaramillo, an assistant manager for the Adult Learning Center at Jackson Heights, says that students embraced distance learning and looked forward to joining class, “not just for learning but also to connect with others in different ways.” Many of her students were impacted by the pandemic, including those who lost relatives to COVID-19. Jaramillo shared a success story of a student who at first struggled with technology but eventually was able to increase her English language level. “We both laughed in happiness because she had finally made gains in speaking English,” Jaramillo says. 

Mangmang, an adult learning student, found out about the Library’s classes through the Queens Public Library’s website. Mangmang participated in virtual family literacy classes with their child. Mangmang shared that they have experienced “learning how to learn with my children like playing Kahoot together, doing crafts, doing homework, and having fun at the same time.” “I am so grateful to the teachers who are so patient to teach the new knowledge, not only in English but also the new technology,” Mangmang says. 

Yan Su, another adult learning student, learned about the Library’s classes from a friend. Su has participated in beginner, intermediate, and family classes. “We learned a lot of English idioms, American historical figures, and did interesting activities,” Su says. “We are grateful that the library gives us this opportunity to learn English. My English has improved a lot.” Su’s favorite moment from class is answering Kahoot questions. 

If you are interested in joining an adult learning class, complete the inquiry form here. Click the Learn More button under the Adult Education section. 
A staff member will reach out to you. 
Please email with any questions about courses and registration. 

Students at first day of ALP class