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A Look into Immigrant Journeys; Traveling Exhibit Comes to Marinette

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NWTC Marinette is one of the few locations selected throughout the state to host an exhibit to deepen our understanding of immigrant’s lives
NWTC Marinette is one of the few locations selected throughout the state to host an exhibit to deepen our understanding of immigrant’s lives

Since 2012, Janet Glime and the Marinette & Oconto Counties Literacy Council have worked to help residents of the Northeast Wisconsin region improve their reading and English language skills.

Now, thanks to the efforts of Glime and the Literacy Council to raise awareness of our growing non-native English-speaking community, Marinette was selected to be a part of the statewide exhibit tour: Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border.

Janet Glime explains that “bringing this exhibit to the Marinette area provides the larger community an opportunity to learn about and reflect on the ways our region has worked with immigrants over the centuries and now.”

Created by the Wisconsin Humanities Council and Centro Hispano of Dane County, the exhibit is told through Pulitzer-Prize photographer, Gary Porter, and journalist, Bill Berry. The exhibit features portraits of eight immigrants and their narrated experiences since arriving to Wisconsin from Uruguay, Honduras, Mexico, or Columbia.

The exhibit will be available to the public, located in the student lounge near the event center in NWTC Marinette from October 20-29.

Today, the Marinette School District has seen an increase in Spanish-speaking students over the past five years from less than 20 students to over 60. With that, there is a need to provide English language learning opportunities to ensure those students can thrive in our workforce, educational system and greater community.

Jennifer Flatt, campus dean of NWTC Marinette, says, “There are so many ways we can learn about our Spanish-speaking neighbors and their backgrounds. I hope that our students and community members take something away from this exhibit, whether it’s deepening our understanding of immigrants’ lives, learning of history or even sparking conversation.”

NWTC Marinette is also responding to the growing needs of the diverse community. The College recently hosted a seminar to learn more from an expert on Puerto Rican culture. “It was important for us to know that Puerto Ricans are US citizens, but the training focused on further cultural connections between Wisconsin and Puerto Rico—with lots about its great food, of course.”

Additionally, through NWTC Marinette, starting in late October, residents who need help learning English will be able to take advantage of free virtual English Language Learning (ELL) classes. Similar to Glime and the Literacy Council’s efforts, these ELL classes will allow individuals to focus on their language learning goals. Glime is also excited about the ways in which the exhibit will connect individuals with these resources and even draw more volunteers to help.

To become a volunteer or for more information on Marinette & Oconto Counties Literacy Council, call 920-897-4422

To learn more information about NWTC’s English Language Learning classes and the Immigrant Journeys from South of the Border exhibit, call 715-735-9361 or stop by the campus at 1601 University Drive.

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