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Community

February 23, 2013

Step Back in Time: Feb. 23, 2013

25 years ago

Feb. 23, 1988

The number of students of Asian backgrounds in the Oneonta area studying English as a second language has been increasing over the past three years, according to local educators.

“There’s really a big turnover,” said Cathy Jeanette, coordinator of Adult Education for the State University College at Oneonta. The SUCO Adult Education program is run out of the Bugbee School on Bugbee Road.

So far this year, Adult Education is helping at least 15 Asians studying English as a second language, Jeanette said. Last year, the program had between 20 and 30 students of Asian extraction, and in 1986, the program helped 25 students, which was a 67 percent increase over 15 adults in 1985. Ten years ago, the program didn’t have any Asian students, she said.

The Asian students attend classes not to increase their knowledge but to learn English, Jeanette said. Although some Asian students may be studying for an examination to become a U.S. citizen, most pupils are studying to become conversant in English and to acclimate to American culture, she said.

“They have good motivation,” Jeanette said. “Whether it is hard or not, they learn because they want to do it.”

Literacy Volunteers of Oneonta also has tutors working with about 10 students on English as a second language, said Melody David, LVO coordinator. Of the 10 students, four are of Asian or Pacific island extraction, she said.

Adults studying English as a second language visit the library every day, according to Marie Bruni, director of Huntington Library, and the numbers have been growing dramatically during the last three years.

50 years ago

Feb. 23, 1963

COOPERSTOWN — The Rev. Frederick W. Connell, Methodist minister and Otsego County Jail chaplain, last week received a special greeting and message, signed by Pope John XXIII, and sent to Mr. Connell by Bishop Fred Pierce Corson, president of World Methodism.

Mr. Connell explained that Bishop Corson, while representing World Methodists at the recent Ecumenical Conference in Rome, enjoyed a long conference with the Pope.

Afterwards Pope John XXIII sent his greetings and a message to Bishop Corson for all of his ministers of the Philadelphia area, of which the Oneonta District of the Wyoming Conference is a part.

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