Cerritos College News Release - April 2009

Cerritos College ESL Moves Community in a Green Direction


Media Contact: Aya Abelon, Public Affairs; (562) 860-2451 ext.2287

ESL student Irene Flores with the planted seeds in classroomNORWALK, Calif. - April 3, 2009 - ESL and community garden are not your usual combination. However, the two are working in perfect harmony for a Cerritos College ESL class and the City of Artesia.

Cerritos College’s ESL class, taught at A.J. Padelford in Artesia, is in the beginning stages of creating a community garden in collaboration with the City of Artesia. Led by Martha Robles, ESL instructor for the Cerritos College Adult Education Department, the class joined the A.J. Padelford Park Community Garden Project. The project is part of the City’s America in Bloom program. America in Bloom is a nationwide contest that judges cities on their attempts at beautification.

“The Adult Education Department at Cerritos College has provided ESL classes for over four years and members of the neighboring community have participated at various times,” said Robles. Robles explained why she took on a unique project for the ESL class, “Researches say that learning language in a real-life setting helps build a sense of purpose, community, and speeds up second language development.”

the future garden site“Although the class will focus on ESL, the growing interest in “going green” has moved the class in the direction of a community garden project.”

There are two phases to the community garden project. First, the work will be planned out by forming a planning committee among the ESL students, who will design a garden plan, measure space, develop a planting scheme for year-round activity, and to create a supply inventory.

The second phase will be the actual groundbreaking ceremony, in which the class will introduce the garden to the community. Then the class will purchase materials and organize a community/student work day.

While studying English, the class will learn about good soil, use a soil tester, identify various plants, composting, and other gardening-related subjects.

“Students will also participate in the watering and maintaining, as well as harvest crops, troubleshoot problems, and implement resolutions,” said Robles. “This class will create a sense of ‘Yes we can’ among students.”

For more information about the ESL class, please contact Martha Robles at (562) 860-2451 ext.2400 or mrobles@cerritos.edu.


Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently surpasses 26,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at www.cerritos.edu.