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International Language Institute Awarded Five-year Grant for Free English Classes

NORTHAMPTON — In mid-December, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced the results of its competitive grant program to fund free English classes for immigrants and refugees across the state. The International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI), located in Northampton, was on the list.

“We were thrilled to get the good news,” said Macey Faiella, director of ILI’s English programs. “The pandemic shed new light on the disparities that face immigrants and refugees, and we reassessed our program to include greatly expanded offerings. DESE responded positively — all to the benefit of the students.”

For 34 years, ILI has partnered with the state to provide free English classes in Western Mass. The new award extends the partnership for an additional five years and funds about two-thirds of the overall program. ILI is responsible for the remaining costs, raised primarily from individual donors and local businesses and foundations.

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