We don’t “teach English” – we inspire, empower, motivate, and support people who are learning to navigate a culture. It turns out that’s the fastest way to develop fluency in a language.
Since January, 2009 we have built an impressive list of accomplishments with very few resources – much like the communities we serve. 2013 was the first year we collected and analyzed data throughout our community-based Language & Life Skills network, and those results are presented below:
Brag Sheet (as of 2/10/17)
# of individual learners: 4000+
# of classes taught: 3700+
# of engagements (classroom visits): 25,000+
# of sites served with Voz Alta Language & Life Skills Programming: 36
# of graduates English for the Community Apprenticeship: 28
# of graduates Classroom Confidence Practicum: 7
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in China: 5
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in Venezuela: 2
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in Spain: 2
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in Italy: 1
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in Mexico: 1
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in Costa Rica: 1
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in Uganda: 1
# of CCP/EFTC graduates placed in Urugay: 1
# of conference appearances: 14
In 2016, we had some incredible achievements:
- We received 2016 “Business of the Year” Spirit of Portland Award! Thanks to PDX Bureau of Environmental Services for nominating us.
- With the help of Metro, we completed our Curriculum Module Template – consisting of a “Folio” with a Word Cloud, a Scorecard, and a Reference Sheet, and a Facilitator’s Guide”. This is the foundation that our Real World Curriculum will be built upon! Thanks to Mikhail Zepeda for the graphic design work and Ivy Watson for writing the project. We were able to make amazing new partners from Green Lents to Nadaka Nature Park to Audubon. We took our learners out to the park and out to the bioswale. And we came up with 10 new modules: Busy Bees, Birds on the Wing, Oregon Territory, The Great Outdoors, Animals Adapt!, Tree Hugger, Recycle It!, Local Flora, Stormwater Management, Salmon Nation
- We partnered with Trash for Peace and took on the incredible Confluence AmeriCorps Ashley Lopez to help us blend TfP’s sustainability curriculum with P-P-T’s language curriculum to create a cross-cultural, cross generational language & culture curriculum for the whole family!
- Presented several sessions at the historic and controversial “Whiteness History Month” at Portland Community College
- Had a piece published in “What Does It Mean To Be White In America” and sat on a panel of contributors at the July, 2016 Race Talks
- Sheila, Zadok, and Ramin presented their first conference presentation at the Portland Literacy Conference! A big step up for our team!
- We had a total of 4 AmeriCorps members learn to practice their intercultural skills by facilitating classes with us: Marc Czornij (PDX BES, Confluence), Ivy Watson (Gresham, NW Youth Corps), Ashlyn Teather (Gresham, NW Youth Corps), Ashley Lopez (TfP/P-P-T Confluence)
- We promoted 2 new Owners’ Circle Members: Ramin Tokhi and Jacob Gerke!
- We hosted Tanya Kelly from the Global Conversations Development Centre, a language school in The Bahamas. She was with us for 3 week as part of the Young Leaders of the Americas and Caribbean (YLAI)
- These folks used skills or connections they developed with us to travel or work outside the US: Ethan Jacot, Graziella Ioele, Krysie Bright, Janet Gallagher, Santiago Fadahafet, Owen Wise-Pierik, Brooke Stady, Zadok Taylor, Monica Quintero-DeVlaeminck, Megan Corning, Luke Young, Tiffani Nuttnauer
- We had the most successful year of classes yet, with increasing our total visits by more than 2,000
- Had just about the same amount of revenue this year as last year, indicating possible viability.
- Started receiving private clients from the State of Oregon and other sources – 9 in all!
- We had the 2nd year of the Festival of Nations. Though we were rained on pretty badly, we were happy to receive $2,000 from the Center for Geographic Education in Oregon and the use of their Giant World Map. Also incredibly proud that Sheila Gibbons was able to take over the leadership of the Taste of Nations tent
In 2015, we achieved some major successes.
- We released the Deck of Professions, a visual tool for localized language & culture learning
- We opened our first office at the amazing Portland Mercado, an incredible dream come true
- We completed a profound and transformative series of race dialogues at Portland Parks & Recreation with Donna Maxey the founder of Race Talks
- We worked with Division Midway Alliance and East Portland Action Plan to create a Taste of Nations Food Tent at the Festival of Nations, a spectacular success that provided hundreds of dollars to newcomers who delighted us with their traditional dishes
- We conceived and built a successful Holiday Bazar & pop-up Tienda Navidena at the Portland Mercado, as part of the Portland Posada in partnership with HispanicPros – a profound honor
- Our revenue miraculously increased 600% over prior years – and we lived up to our Equity philosophy: “We Pay You First” – over $25,000 of the revenue we took in was paid out to immigrants, refugees, and people of color for contracted work
- People-Places-Things’ Founder and Program Director, Patrik McDade, for the first time, drew a small stipend
As of Summer 2014 – just over three years in action – we have placed two teachers in Venezuela, and four in China! We’ve also made a placement in Japan, and one of our graduates is building P-P-T International in Cancun, Yucatan. Our graduates & colleagues are making a positive impact on the communities in which they’re placed. They have solid classroom skills and it’s obvious.
Nearly every graduate of our program has gotten paid work teaching English, and the ones that haven’t have chosen another route.
In 2013, we completed our first workplace language & culture skills program with Crowne Plaza Hotels, focusing on customer service skills for the Housekeeping staff. It was a fantastic success, and we plan to build stronger bridges with Crowne Plaza, eventually creating a flexible curriculum for the hospitality industry.
In 2010 and 2011, we had our first paid Language & Life skills site at Gresham High School. In 2012, we picked up David Douglas High School, East Gresham, Hall, and Wilkes Elementary. In 2013, we added Menlo/Mill Park, Lynch Wood, Lynch Meadows, and Lynch View. We have more paying jobs than we have trained teachers. And more work is on the way…