The DI English Program is the newest program offered by the English Skills Learning Center. Started in January 2018, the DI English Program was created from a partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide English classes at two Deseret Industries thrift stores in Salt Lake City. All participants in the program are employed at the stores and they receive 16 hours of English classes each week that is paid time, so they are actually paid to learn English.
Participants in this program are also learning to read and most have never been to school before. Emergent readers like these participants are often excluded from educational programs because they don’t know how to read, so this program is filling a need in the community so that these students can gain the basic literacy skills they need to be able to tap into the larger ESL resources in the community.