Program Overview

Colorado Refugee English as a Second Language Program

The Colorado Refugee English as a Second Language Program (CRESL) serves adult refugees who have recently resettled in Colorado, primarily in the Denver metro area. We provide English and literacy instruction, as well as job-readiness education and acculturation lessons. 

Who are refugees?

By the United Nations' and U.S. government's definition, a refugee is any person who is outside his/her country of nationality, and who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. These persons have been forced to flee their homeland, and through the United States refugee resettlement program, have found refuge in our country. At this time, the majority of refugees in the CRESL program are from Burma, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine.

How the community helps

Newly arrived refugees attend classes in English and workplace readiness at Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC) in Denver. For those who cannot attend classes, a home tutoring program is available. Classes at EGTC are taught by professional ESL instructors. Volunteers assist teachers and students alike in a variety of ways. 

The CRESL Program has been in place for over 40 years. In that time, thousands of refugees have received the benefits of English classes at Emily Griffith Technical College. More importantly, these refugees have also benefited from the kind smiles, encouragement, and extra support that our volunteers bring to the program.

We're looking for a few good volunteers

Our program is always growing and our volunteer needs are always unmet. If you are interested in joining our program as a volunteer, we invite you to explore this site further for more information.