Verizon Wireless Donates $25,000 To Access To Restore English Language Training For Arab Community In Michigan

SOUTHFIELD, MI — ACCESS, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, has restored its English as a Second Language (ESL) training program, thanks to a $25,000 gift from Verizon Wireless. The organization's program had been discontinued for lack of funding since 2003.

The donation will provide a total of 11,520 hours of structured learning and educational materials to 120 non-English speaking adults in 2005 to improve their English language fluency.

"Every day, people from other countries come to the United States with dreams of making a better life for their families," said Greg Haller, president—Michigan/Indiana/Kentucky Region, Verizon Wireless. "Without an adequate understanding of the English language, it's that much harder for them to assimilate, get jobs and turn their dreams into reality. This donation is a reflection of our commitment to the Arab community and our faith in the outstanding services that ACCESS provides."

Many participants of ACCESS' ESL training program are newcomers to the United States who must learn the ways of American society. Learning English is vital to this process. In addition, in order to become a U.S. citizen, individuals must be sufficiently fluent in English to pass the citizenship exam.

"By granting us these much-needed funds, Verizon Wireless is meeting a great need in this community," said Sonia Harb, director of Employment and Training for ACCESS. "Our ESL program is a vital service that our clients rely on, especially at a time when governmental funding has declined and the availability of English training courses has decreased throughout the community. "We see immediate, positive results from our proven program, and its effects within the Arab community will carry on long after students leave the classroom."

Three sessions of ESL training will be held during the year, with two 12-week ESL training classes offered each session. The curriculum will focus on listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, mathematics, and work maturity and job readiness. Each class meets four days/nights a week for two hours each day/evening. For more information on the ACCESS ESL program, contact 313-842-7010.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at

About ACCESSACCESS is a human services organization committed to the development of the Arab American community in all aspects of economic and cultural life. ACCESS helps low-income families, as well as newly arrived immigrants adapt to life in America. Its goal is to foster a greater understanding of Arab Culture in the U.S. and in the Arab world. ACCESS provides a wide range of social, mental health, educational, artistic, employment, legal, and medical services, and is dedicated to empowering people to lead more informed, productive, and fulfilling lives.