LaGuardia Community College’s Program Receives $25,000 National Grant to Help Hispanic Families Prepare for College

Long Island City, NY—LaGuardia Community College was one of 10 programs in the nation to receive a $25,000 grant from the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) to assist Hispanic and other families to enter college.

The competitive funding expands the reach of the innovative Family Literacy—Community College Partnership Initiative supported by MetLife Foundation.  LaGuardia’s Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET) and its Pre-College Academic Programming (PCAP) center, along with Make the Road New York (MRNY), a non-profit community partner, will use the support to expand their college awareness and advisement workshops for immigrant families by incorporating modules from NCFL’s En Camino/ On Our Way interactive toolkits.

“Over the years, immigrant adults have looked to LaGuardia as a pathway to post-secondary education and a better life for their families,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College.  “This grant will allow the programs to better serve this special population by allowing them to enhance their college-related workshops with valuable interactive toolkits that parents and children can access online.”

The interactive toolkits, which are available in Spanish and English, provide educational and life-skill activities for parents and children.  Workshops will be tailored to the local needs of LaGuardia and MRNY families. The toolkits are available for free at

Both CIET and PCAP will be introducing the toolkits to their targeted populations.  CIET provides low-income immigrant adults with contextualized English language instruction and job training programs, along with career counseling services.  PCAP offers academic and career pathway programs that provide contextualized classroom instruction as well as comprehensive education services.  With MetLife Foundation funds, PCAP currently offers GED Bridge to College and Careers to more than 500 students each year.

“CIET has a long history of providing immigrant family literacy and parent leadership services for English language learners in Queens,” said John Hunt, director of CIET. “NCLFL’s support will permit us to better serve immigrant families navigating the college entry process.”         

Sharon Darling, president & founder of NCFL said: “We need to ensure that more adults are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education and that parents are well prepared to inform and nurture the educational aspirations of their children. Efforts serving two generations are best positioned to assist our nation with the ambitious goals of career readiness and college attainment.”

Dennis White, MetLife Foundation president and CEO, added: “We are pleased to support the National Center for Family Literacy and its leadership in building community partnerships that help families aspire to and achieve a college education.The new grants in the Family Literacy – Community College Partnership Initiative support important examples of how community organizations, school districts, community colleges and four-year universities can work collaboratively to increase educational attainment.”

The winners represent a wide range of organizations and community partners working at different educational levels:

            • Community colleges: LaGuardia and Durham Technical Community College, Durham, N.C.

            • Four-year colleges: Temple University, Philadelphia; and the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

            School systems: Boone County Schools, Florence, Ky.; and Southwest Independent School District, San Antonio

            • Community literacy organizations: Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc., Washington; and Long Beach Family Literacy Program, Long Beach, Calif.

            • Local organizations serving Hispanics: Sociedad Latina, Roxbury, Mass.; and Adelante Mujeres, Forest Grove, Ore.

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About LaGuardia Community College

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.

About NCFL
The National Center for Family Literacy, founded in 1989, is the worldwide leader in family literacy. More than 1 million families have made positive educational and economic gains as a result of NCFL’s work, which includes training more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers. For more information, visit

About MetLife Foundation:

MetLife Foundation is committed to building a secure future for individuals and communities worldwide, through a focus on empowering older adults, preparing young people and building livable communities. In education, it seeks to strengthen public schools through effective teaching and collaborative leadership, and to prepare students for access to and success in higher education, particularly during the crucial first year. The Foundation’s grantmaking is informed by findings from the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. More information is available at