Jubilee REACH is The Intercambio Network’s 100th member, having joined this past summer! Jubilee REACH’s ESL Specialist Elaine Hill shares why the organization uses Intercambio’s curriculum and resources, and why they love our holistic approach.
Jubilee REACH is a nonprofit in the heart of Bellevue, Washington that has been serving the community since 2006. Our stated mission is to “bring healing, build community, and transform the lives of students and families in Bellevue.” The English language program has been part of the Jubilee culture since nearly the beginning, and it is fully aligned with the mission of Jubilee. It is regularly said, “It’s not about the English. It’s about the student feeling cared for, seen, important, like they belong, known, expected, and fully loved.”
I first learned about Intercambio’s curriculum while volunteering as an ESL teacher at a different organization in Washington in 2020 during the pandemic. We were searching for a more contemporary curriculum specifically designed for newcomers to the United States. In June 2023, I joined Jubilee REACH and knew I wanted to use Intercambio’s curriculum because it emphasizes community and confidence building, rather than the four learning skills exclusively (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
In addition to offering exceptional trainings to our volunteer teachers, The Intercambio Network also has free monthly meetings and live online webinars, providing a continuous opportunity for further learning and development. As a program administrator, Intercambio provides me with a platform for support and idea exchange with other administrators across the country, along with the support of the very knowledgeable and compassionate Intercambio staff.
I’ve participated in two coaching sessions with Intercambio, and they were very informative. The Intercambio staff did a fantastic job listening to me and tailoring the meeting to our program’s unique needs. Additionally, I had the chance to participate in the Summer Conference and a networking call. Both provided a holistic focus on the students and addressed the unique challenges immigrants face when moving to this country, going beyond just learning the English language.
The Resource Hub provides a great deal of support for the curriculum. The Confidence and Connections placement test package and all the worksheets, videos, and games have been extremely useful.
I would recommend Intercambio to others for its holistic approach, its focus on community building, and its curriculum that is not only practical and engaging but also specifically designed to cater to the unique needs of newcomers to the United States. The Intercambio Network provides invaluable resources, training, and a collaborative platform that enhances any program’s effectiveness, focusing not just on language acquisition but on the overall well-being and integration of students into the community.