SWBOCES to be honored by El Centro Hispano

Community partner to honor SWBOCES for literacy programs, collaboration

centro hispano logo

 Southern Westchester BOCES will be honored later this year at a gala in White Plains in recognition of its role as collaborative community partner in support of the mission of El Centro Hispano.

The Adult Literacy Center operated by SWBOCES' Center for Adult and Community Services provides educational programs in communities across the region. Those programs focus on three areas: Citizenship Exam preparation, High School Equivalency Exam preparation and ESL instruction. El Centro Hispano is a key community partner in ensuring those programs are available to those who will benefit from them.

The organization's president, Cecilia G Bikkal, and its Founding Executive Director, Isabel E. Villar, notified Adult Literacy Center Supervisor Maria Guerrero in a Jan. 2 letter that SWBOCES would be an honoree at El Centro's Oct. 26 anniversary gala at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in White Plains.

"We are very proud that for the past 45 years, El Centro has been fulfilling its mission to assist, support and strengthen the Hispanic Community; to help them become self-sufficient; and to ease their transition into their new culture while maintaining and enriching their own," the letter states. "Our Anniversary Gala is a celebration of the progress we have made since 1974 toward realizing these goals. It is a public recognition of Southern Westchester BOCES' role in assisting us in this important issue."

Collaboration in the delivery of educational programs to community partners is central to the SWBOCES mission, said Senior Director of Adult, Community and Career Services Claudia Murphy. 

"We are humbled by this honor and appreciate the continued opportunity to work with an organization like El Centro Hispano that so thoroughly shares our dedication to meeting the needs of the communities we serve," Ms. Murphy said. 

SWBOCES began working with El Centro Hispano in 2011. Currently, seven SWBOCES classes are offered through El Centro Hispano: ESL Basic level, ESL intermediate LEVEL, three ESL Multilevel classes, Citizenship class, and HSE/TASC in Spanish. Last year, 303 students were served.

Ms. Guerrero added that it is a privilege to partner with such a remarkable community-based organization in providing literacy services to adult learners. 

For many students, these classes are the first step in making a better life for themselves and their families, she said. The programs foster learning through dedicated and supportive instruction. Classes are offered in the evenings and on weekends to accommodate the schedules of adult learners.  

"El Centro Hispano and Southern Westchester BOCES share a common vision to provide a nurturing environment for community members to seek a better life for themselves and their families through education," said Guerrero. "As such, they remain committed to providing high quality Adult Literacy programs."


Collaborating together, El Centro Hispano and Southern Westchester BOCES make every effort to make a difference in the lives of the community they serve.