The three sites of The Opening Word are located in western Suffolk county in areas of economic deprivation and poor educational opportunities: North Amityville, Huntington Station, and Wyandanch.
The goals and objectives are:
- To strengthen the English language skills for participants who speak other languages.
- To develop an appreciation for the life skills necessary to become a productive, self–sufficient citizen.
- To focus on family development, including family literacy, parenting, and health literacy so that parents can break the illiteracy cycle that inhibits many families.
- To enable participants to improve their self image through non-competitive, individualized programs and regular evaluative interviews.
- To provide job-readiness experiences including resume writing and practice for interviews.
- To prepare eligible students for the Citizenship test.
The program is evaluated through the National Reporting System (NRS) which surveys:
- Educational gains in testing of ESOL students
- Employment goals and post-secondary education