Learning for Free

One day while looking through my e-mails I found one that stated that they were offering free French and Spanish courses at the Harlem Children’s Zone for adults. Since it was the summer and I didn’t have anything particularly important to do at the time I decided to register and take the French class. I thought it was a good idea because it was a free class, and in America when do you really get anything free. On July 1, 2009 I began taking my French class at the Harlem Children’s Zone (which I am still taking).

I think what the Harlem Children’s Zone is providing to its neighborhood and for the adults in New York City is a great idea. This program provides a service that helps teach you a new language at no cost. In the economic situation that most people find themselves in finding something that is really free is hard to do. In my time taking classes at the Harlem Children’s Zone it has been a great experience for me as well as the classmates that attend class with me.

On of the other great experiences I had was meeting my professor, Rudolph Solis. He is the type of professors that will stay after class is over to help us with anything we don’t quite understand. He will repeat things over and over to make sure we understand. And if we still don’t get it he will repeat it again. He will also write the word out so that we get a better idea of how it sounds. After interviewing him on the phone for this article about the Harlem Children’s Zone I realized that his life was much more interesting than I expected. He told me that he is a person that does not like to be boastful about all he has done. What I will tell you about him is that his first goal was to be a doctor. But, through a series of circumstances he became a professor. After many years he retired. When he joined the Harlem Children’s Zone, 2 years ago, he thought he was going to be a volunteer, and it was after he had arrived that he realized it was a job. He told me that the best part of teaching was “to know that you are helping” the students. He also stated that more programs like the one given in Harlem Children’s Zone would be a great idea because programs like this help people “regardless of their race to learn whatever they can”.

I believe that more stories like this one should be reported on more often because it can help people learn a new language, get to meet new people, and the best part is that it is FREE.


Professor Rudolph Solis



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