By James DeWeese
Peralta announced last Thursday he had secured $50,000 in state funding to help the Dominico-American Society secure a new home and extra computers, both of which would be used to offer new English and information technology courses to immigrants in the borough.”I am proud to be able to provide funding for the Dominico-American Society,” Peralta said. “A new location will open the door for essential services in this community and will allow this organization to continue doing the wonderful work they have been doing.”The Dominico-American Society, currently located at 40-27 97th St. in Corona, has worked for 11 years to provide literacy, technology and citizenship programs free of charge to low-income immigrants, Peralta said. Among the subjects they offer are: English language, civics, history and computer technology, he said.Now, Peralta said, the organization is looking for a larger office to expand its reach. DAS Executive Director Carlos Suarez said the $50,000 in capital funding will help. “This a very important contribution towards our efforts in acquiring a bigger location,” Suarez said. “The present location is actually too small for the demand and the services we are providing.”Peralta said new programs for immigrants, particularly those that teach them English, are badly needed in Corona and surrounding neighborhoods, especially in light of recent reports that indicate that Queens has the largest percentage of immigrants. According to a report from the New York City Department of City Planning Population Division, 35.8 percent of the borough is foreign born, Peralta said. Meanwhile, a recent report from the New York Public Interest Group, showed that the lion's share of immigrant service programs are located elsewhere in the city, including Manhattan.”Recent reports indicate that services for new Americans are lacking in Queens and much-needed funding needs to be allocated to bring this community up to par with the rest of New York City,” Peralta said. “Our community is constantly growing and services need to grow.”Reach reporter James DeWeese by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.