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Southern Tier Tuesdays: Open Doors English awarded $2,000 grant

Updated: Aug. 24, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT
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JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) -- Open Doors English (ODE) is this week’s winner of a $2,000 grant from Upstate Shredding through Southern Tier Tuesdays.

Open Doors English, is a non-profit, dedicated to proving affordable, comprehensive English classes, to empower students to live fuller lives, and build richer community connections.

Open Doors English Co-Director Liz Susmann said this organization serves students from over 35 different countries and from all walks of life.

“Open Doors English is just entering its third year we’re a very new organization,” Susmann said. “We are an English-as-a-second-language school in Ithaca N.Y. and we serve adults from all over the world who want to learn English.”

Susmann said Open Doors English offers ESL classes for adults at every level.

“We have beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes that we offer in the morning, afternoon, and evening four days a week,” Susmann said. “We also offer some special interest classes, this past year during the pandemic we had a cooking class that Lucia was in.”

Lucia Song a student at Open Doors Mission said the cooking class offered during the pandemic allowed her to learn more about American culture.

“When we couldn’t go off-site to be safe we couldn’t do anything in person and at the time Open Doors English made a special class which was a cooking class,” Song said. “It was not just cooking, but it was one way we learned more about American culture.”

Susmann said this grant will help ODE to provide ESL classes for over 200 students per year. During the pandemic, ODE classes became more important than ever. Not only as English learning environments but as vital communities amidst increased isolation.

“This money will go directly to supporting ODE and helping to keep our doors open even as we operate online and we’re just really grateful for the support,” Susmann said. “As a new organization, every dollar counts, and every gift helps students like Lucia find a place to belong.”

To reach Open Doors English, you can do so online at their website by clicking here.

Southern Tier Tuesdays is a philanthropic endeavor of Adam Weitsman, owner of Upstate Shredding, and his daughter, Clover. For more information or to nominate a Southern Tier non-profit go to southerntiertuesdays.com.