Our mission is to lift NYC’s newly-arrived, adult, documented immigrants, refugees and asylees from underemployment and poverty to decent jobs and prosperity, helping them gain self-sufficiency by:
Providing them with the knowledge, skills & confidence to communicate confidently in the English language.
Enabling them to obtain employment commensurate with their skills and experience or to continue their post-secondary education.
Helping them to become productive & contributing members of American society.
Our Programs and Services
Riverside is the only free, full-time English classes for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction in New York City. Since we began in 1979, we have helped more than 30,000 immigrants from over 80 countries learn English rapidly, thereby accelerating their entry into the American workforce or their pursuit of a higher education.
Riverside offers an intensive English learning program for several different levels of English proficiency:
Students are in class full-time for six consecutive weeks, from 9am-3pm, Monday through Friday.
We conduct pre-testing to place them in the appropriate level classes, as well as post-testing to measure educational achievement and language proficiency.
Our dedicated volunteers conduct informal conversation sessions several times a week, providing authentic opportunities to communicate in a “real world’ situation, building fluency and confidence.
In addition to English language classes, Riverside provides:
IT instruction in our Workshop/Computer Lab, to prepare students for the American workforce.
Civics instruction as a core part of the curriculum.
Counseling services – our dedicated counselor provides support with issues such as housing, health insurance, financial aid and college applications.
Support with job readiness skills and referrals to community partners for job placement.
Riverside has a very sound track record and continues to outperform other programs:
Riverside is in the top 5% of all NY State adult education programs, based on the annual NY State Report Card measuring educational gain, employment and other achievements.
86% of our students achieve at least one educational gain after their 6-week class program. This compares very favorably to the State benchmark of 51%.
Riverside teaches in 6 weeks what it takes 1 year to learn in a part-time program.
Gaining English proficiency increases our students’ career opportunities and potential earnings: Studies have shown that gaining English proficiency can increase immigrants’ salary by as much as 20-40%.*
*Study by Center for Public Democracy and Make the Road NY, April 2016
Board of Directors
Luana I Alesio, Chair
Our Community Partners
African Services Committee
Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBTQ youth
Andrew Romay Immigrant Center
Bellevue Hospital Program for Survivors of Torture
Bronx Community College
Catholic Charities – New International Center
Central American Legal Assistance
Columbia University – Columbia Community Service
Cooper Union Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers
Edith & Carl Marks JCH of Bensonhurst
Henry Street Settlement
Human Rights First
International Rescue Committee
LaGuardia Community College – Center for Immigrant Education & Training
Make the Road
NYC Department of Education – Office of Adult & Continuing Education
New York State Department of Labor
RDJ Shelter for Refugee and Asylee Men
Sanctuary for Families
SUNY Educational Opportunity Centers
Workforce 1 Center for foreign-born New Yorkers
YMCA New Americans Centers
Riverside financial records are below: