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PR- 291-08
June 25, 2009


New TV Show Helps Immigrant New Yorkers Learn English through Realistic Stories of Life in New York City

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott today encouraged immigrant New Yorkers to watch the premiere of ‘We Are New York,’ a new weekly TV show that helps them to learn English through realistic stories of life in New York City, while also providing information on City resources and services available to them. Deputy Mayor Walcott and CUNY Senior University Dean for Academic Affairs John Mogulescu launched the new show today at the Queens Museum for the Arts, a community partner which will integrate We Are New York into their education programs and organize special screenings for community members. The series captures the spirit of people who have come from all over the world to make the Big Apple their home, and demonstrates how people can access essential City services and other important resources. The first episode of We Are New York on NYC-TV Channel 25 airs on Saturday, June 27th at 4:00 pm, and Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 7:30 am.

“We Are New York is a terrific example of what makes our City so vibrant – a great diversity of people working together towards a common destiny,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As the world’s most welcoming place for immigrants, New York is famous for being a city of opportunity. The new immigrants who come to New York in search of a better life are critically important to the economic and cultural well-being of our city. The better things are for immigrant New Yorkers, the better they go for all New Yorkers.”

“Education is the key to a bright future for citizens and immigrants alike,” said Deputy Mayor Dennis M. Walcott. “We Are New York is not only entertaining and engaging, it is also educational in a creative way. Viewers will improve their English in very pragmatic ways and will see how others have accessed City services and other resources that can be helpful. We want people to know about all the services the City has to offer, and We Are New York is a new way to get the message out.”

“We are pleased to work with the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education to produce this television series specifically intended to recognize New York City’s immigrants and assist them with the language skills they need to take full advantage of the City,” said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.

We Are New York episodes include nine different stories of immigrants living in New York City. The stories show how New Yorkers can work together to solve problems and create better lives, and will help viewers learn English that will be useful to them. Each week, a new story will show people speaking English in important and realistic situations, like going to the doctor, opening a bank account, or talking with a child’s teacher. The show, which also has subtitles in English, shows the characters as they speak English, though slower than the average English-language television show, in order to help the viewer understand the show’s content and learn the language and message of the particular episode.

“We Are New York can help hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers learn English,” said, Mayor’s Office of Adult Education Executive Director Anthony Tassi, also a creator of the series. “Whether you are in an ESL class and want some extra listening comprehension practice, or you are studying on your own, watching We Are New York can help you in many ways. There is nothing else like it on television.”

The new TV show was created by the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education in partnership with the City University of New York to help immigrant New Yorkers improve their English speaking skills and to learn about important city resources available to them. There are nine episodes of We Are New York, each with a different cast and set in a different community. The series presents true-to-life stories on a range of important topics that are relevant to people’s lives, including, parents getting involved in their children’s education; opening a bank account and managing money; living an active life while managing a chronic disease, like diabetes; taking care of children with asthma; and helping a friend to quit smoking.

About the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education

The Mayor’s Office of Adult Education works to improve the quality of life of all New Yorkers by promoting a state-of-the-art adult education system. The City offers free classes in English as a Second Language, basic literacy, GED preparation and transition to college. Visit for more information. For more information on We Are New York, visit for more information about the show and to view previews.

The City University of New York

The City University of New Yorkhas a storied history of providing a high-quality education to generations of immigrants. The tradition continues. Today’s CUNY students trace their ancestries to 205 countries, and 47 percent of undergraduates have a native language other than English. The University supports New York City immigrants through extensive language immersion programs, workforce development initiatives and its nationally recognized CUNY Citizenship & Immigration Project.

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