The funding will support 47 programs to offer about 3,200 adult literacy classroom seats across the city      

City Hall, NY –City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced a $4 million Council allocation in this year’s budget to fund Adult Literacy Education initiatives across the City. Council Speaker Johnson made the announcement this afternoon at the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. (CPC). Working alongside the Administration, the City Council secured a total of $12 million for fiscal year 2019 to continue funding for Adult Literacy Education programs. The allocation will support 47 community-based organizations, libraries and CUNY colleges that offer approximately 3,200 adult literacy class seats. This is part of the Council’s commitment to maintaining and increasing English language proficiency, basic literacy and high school equivalency classes for New Yorkers.

Today, Speaker Johnson, with council members Daniel Dromm and Carlos Menchaca, visited one of the English classes offered by CPC in Manhattan. During the class, Speaker Johnson and the council members greeted the teacher and English-learner students, and discussed the importance of studying and being able to speak and read English. For the past fiscal year, CPC taught 39 English classes from beginner to advanced levels, with more than 1,300 students.

According to a 2011 survey, about 50% of the foreign-born population in the city were not proficient in English, and need access to programs that offer basic education, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and High School Equivalency preparation (HSE).

“New York was built by immigrants from all over the world. As an immigrant town, it is vital that we support our immigrant communities,” said Council Speaker Johnson. “I am happy that we, at the City Council, were able to allocate this year $4 million to continue funding these key programs to help New Yorkers access bigger and better opportunities for themselves and their families.”

“Empowering New Yorkers with more tools is how we make NYC the fairest big city in America,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Immigrant communities in particular benefit from more English language learning programming, enabling better access and contributions to the city’s economic, social, and civic opportunities. Our joint commitment to adult literacy is yet another way we welcome immigrants to the five boroughs.”

“This multi-million dollar allocation will open doors for thousands of New Yorkers across the five boroughs,” said NYC Council Finance Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). “These dollars will improve the lives of low-income residents and recent immigrants by putting them on a pathway to better employment, higher education and many other opportunities.  Because of this funding, organizations like CPC can continue to provide the instruction and other quality services needed to achieve these goals.  I am happy to have supported this effort and will continue to work alongside Speaker Johnson and Council Member Menchaca to bolster adult literacy programming in NYC.”

“We live in the most diverse and linguistically rich city in the world, but being able to speak and read English still opens countless doors of opportunity, not least of which is being able to participate in this great City’s civic and political life,” said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration. “If we are committed to creating a more inclusive democracy, to giving every New Yorker, regardless of status, a seat at the table, then we must fund adult literacy education programs. I’m proud that our new Speaker understands this fundamental truth, and am even more proud today to announce funding for such programs in this year’s budget.”

“For the past 20 years, CPC’s Adult Literacy Program has served members of the community throughout New York City who seek English classes to better assimilate to the American mainstream. English classes enable our students to achieve a higher quality of life. Because of ESL classes, our students are better equipped to advance their careers, take a more active role in their children’s education, and navigate through life in the United States,” said Lynn Nakazawa, Adult Literacy Program Coordinator at CPC.

“United Neighborhood Houses has been proud to work with Speaker Johnson, Immigration Chair Member Menchaca, Finance Chair Dromm, and other members of the New York City Council to secure funding for free adult literacy classes for immigrants and other adult learners. We know that adult literacy is a gateway to opportunity for thousands of New Yorkers, opening doors to better paying jobs and training programs, promoting community engagement and integration, and affording access to higher education. Along with members of the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy, we stand ready to work with the City Council and the Administration to create even more opportunities for New Yorkers to learn English and earn their high school equivalency diplomas. The times that we are living in require us all to work to not just create safety and security for New Yorkers, but also pathways for self-empowerment, expression, and success,” said Kevin Douglas, Co-Director of Policy & Advocacy at the United Neighborhood Houses.

“The Arab American Association of New York is fortunate to receive funding from the New York City Council for our Adult Education program. Thanks to the city’s dedicated support of immigrant communities, we are able to provide robust and critical English-language instruction to new members of the Brooklyn Arabic-speaking community who are often overwhelmed by and unprepared for life in NYC. Our literacy program allows recent immigrants to build a home here and to develop the communication skills they need to become active members of their communities,” said Rama Issa-Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York.

“NICE works with immigrant workers and job seekers, many of whom are recently-arrived to this country and work in the informal economy, like day laborers and domestic workers. The need for effective, flexible English courses is significant: to acquire dignified, living-wage jobs and move up in their fields, our members must learn English in a way that prioritizes vocational needs and recognizes their previous educational achievement,” said Manuel Castro, Executive Director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). “The funding NICE receives from City Council is critical in our ability to meet the needs of this community who can’t access these services elsewhere.”

“HAUP’s adult literacy program has been a lifeline for Haitian immigrants in New York City. Hundreds have successfully established productive lives as a result of the skills and knowledge acquired through our volunteer based programs. It’s vital that significant funding be made available to HAUP so that new New Yorkers achieve the American Dream as early as possible,” said Marie J. Charles, Chief Operations Officer of Haitian-American United for Progress.

Program providers: 


Bronx Community College: $100,000

BronxWorks, Inc.: $35,704

The Door – A Center of Alternatives, Inc.: $100,000

East Side House, Inc.: $150,000

Fordham University: $100,000

MASA-MexEd, Inc.: $50,000

Urban Health Plan, Inc.: 185,000


Academy of Medical and Public Health Services: $100,000

Arab American Association of New York, Inc.: $100,000

The Arab-American Family Support Center, Inc.: $129,500

Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, Inc.: $80,000

Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc.: $99,900

Medgar Evers College, CUNY: $75,000

NYC City College of Technology: $100,000

SCO Family of Services: $100,000

Sunset Park Health Council, Inc.: $192,500

Turning Point Brooklyn, Inc.: $20,000

Young Women’s Christian Association of Brooklyn: $33,396

NIA Community Services Network, Inc.: $25,000


Borough of Manhattan Community College Early Childhood Center, Inc.: $50,000

Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York: $100,000

The Children’s Aid Society: $101,750

Chinatown Manpower Project, Inc.: $185,000

Chinese American Planning Council, Inc.: $150,250

Indochina Sino-American Senior Citizen Center, Inc.: $100,000

Muslim Community Network: $75,000

New York Public Library: $57,000

Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights: $115,000

Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation: $100,000

University Settlement Society of New York, Inc.: $100,000

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Inc.: $25,000


Make the Road $100,000 (also in Staten Island and Brooklyn)

Asian Americans for Equality, Inc.: $50,000

Central Queens YM & YWHA, Inc.: $50,000

The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, Inc.: $50,000

Haitian Americans United for Progress, Inc.: $70,000

The Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement: $100,000

Korean American Family Service Center, Inc.: $80,000

Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc.: $100,000

LaGuardia Community College: $100,000

New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE): $50,000

Queens Borough Public Library: $100,000

Southern Queens Park Association, Inc.: $50,000

St. John’s University: $100,000

Sunnyside Community Services Inc.: $30,000

Women for Afghan Women: $10,000

Staten Island

Liberian Cultural Association, Inc.: $25,000