Free ESL classes, Math Tutorial, Citizenship Tutorial and Computer Training at Cedar Riverside AE

Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative (CRAEC) is in the heart of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. Classrooms are conveniently located in the Riverside Plaza apartment complex and the Brian Coyle Community Center across the street. CRAEC offers morning, afternoon and evening English language learning classes which include basic math and computer skills. In addition, students can sign up for one-on-one tutoring in citizenship or other topics of interest to accommodate the busy schedules of our adult learners.





To provide the skills and support necessary for adult learners to pursue education and employment goals.


Who we serve

The majority of our 400+ students are recent immigrants or refugees seeking to learn English in order to gain the necessary communication skills for finding and holding a job, going grocery shopping, navigating medical appointments, talking with their children’s teachers, or continuing their education. Over 90% of our students are East Africans who fled their native countries to escape Civil War, torture, death, and religious, ethnic, or political persecution. Many of our students have been victims of torture, have lived in a refugee camp, or have been politically persecuted. Some of our students have never experienced formal education and are not literate in their first language. Others have come from highly educated backgrounds, were professionals in their native countries and speak several languages.

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    English Classes in Cedar Riverside



    At Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative (CRAEC), English language learners can easily acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their communities. Whether applying for a job, helping children with homework, or making an appointment, we work hard to help our students learn English. Our highly-qualified teachers provide culturally-sensitive instruction in a welcoming classroom environment. Classrooms quickly become tight-knit, supportive communities as students build language skills and confidence in their new language. Notably, many of our staff members are fluent in a number of languages commonly spoken by our learners.  

    The majority of CRAEC students hail from Somalia and Ethiopia, with a small percentage coming from other countries such as Vietnam, Mexico, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, and Iraq. Volunteers from nearby universities and the broader Twin Cities community provide further conversation practice, computer instruction, and focused tutoring for our students.

    Additionally, partner organizations and other agencies that are housed in the Brian Coyle Community Center and the new Opportunity Center ensure that students can connect to the services they need while pursuing their educational goals.  

    Finding CRAEC is easy. Our office is on the main floor of the E building in Riverside Plaza. The Resource Center at that location has a computer lab which serves both residents and students. You can use the internet, make copies, send and receive faxes, and sign up for English classes at the Resource Center.

    CRAEC is located near the light rail (both the green line and blue line) and on multiple bus routes.

    Stop by and see us or contact us with your questions or comments. We look forward to seeing you soon!




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    During registration our staff use the CASAS reading test and an informal interview to determine an incoming student's English level. Based on that information and education history, we place new learners in the appropriate level class. Please plan to stay for up to 2 hours during the testing and interview. If there is space in the class, students can start class the following Monday. If the class is full, then the student is placed on a waiting list or referred to another ESL program. We look forward to seeing you and welcoming you into our learning community!

    Make sure you have an identification card on hand when coming to register. 

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    CRAEC closed

    May 27, 2024 : Memorial Day


    Free ONLINE class

    Intermediate/ Advance ESL class

    MONDAY - THURSDAY (Afternoon: 12:30 -3:30)

    CRAEC closed

    January 15, 2024 : MLK Day

    February 19, 2024 : President's Day

    Happy Thanksgiving

    CRAEC is closed.

    [Thu. 11/23 & Fri. 11/24, 2023]

    Fall 2023 Back to school day

    [MONDAY, September 11, 2023]

    Summer Break

    [August 19, 2023 - September 10, 2023]

    Back-to-school day

    [September 11, 2023]

    Happy July 4th!

    [TUESDAY, July 4th, 2023]

    Eid Mubarak!

    (Happy Eid Al-Adha!)

    Happy Juneteenth Freedom Day!

    Monday, 6/19/2023, CRAEC is closed.


    CRAEC is closed on Memorial Day

    Monday, May 29, 2023


    Thank you to CRAEC Volunteers !

    Classes at CRAEC will resume on May 9, 2022.
    ESL Classes:
    📌 Morning 9 am to 12:00 pm
    📌 Afternoon 12:00 to 3:00 pm
    📌 Evening 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
    Computer Literacy class:
    📌 Tuesday and Thursday 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
    Citizenship Tutorial:
    📌 Wednesday and Thursday 2:00 to 4:00 pm
    📌 Friday 10 am to 12:00 pm


    Ramadan Kareem !

    Many of our students will be observing Ramadan, an important time of year for the Cedar Riverside community and for our program. We wish all our students, staff, and volunteers a blessed Ramadan.

    Ramadan Kareem!

    During Ramadan's first two weeks, we will continue to have classes. Students and teachers at CRAEC will have three weeks break beginning April 18.

    Summer classes will begin on May 9, 2022.

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    Volunteering at CRAEC

    Volunteer shaking hands with a teacher at the front of the room


    Why Volunteer at Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative?

    Help promote literacy. 885 million adults are illiterate in the world today. That’s about 1 in 4 adults. Literate adults have many advantages. They can read the job application they pick up, help their children with homework, read the medicine bottles they get from the doctor, and much more. Quite simply, literate adults are better equipped to take care of themselves and their families. We strive to increase literacy among adult learners from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds.

    Learn about different cultures. The Cedar Riverside neighborhood is home to thousands of immigrants and refugees, many of whom are from East Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia, and Oromia. A small percentage of students are from Vietnam, Korea, Liberia, Russia, Mexico and Ecuador. In general, you can expect to work with Muslim East African adults whose native language is either Somali or Oromo. 

    Learn more about your neighbors. Although the immigrants and refugees who come to the Twin Cities are from dramatically different places and cultures, they share many of the same values and goals as native born Minnesotans. First and foremost, they want to feel safe and well-integrated in their neighborhoods. They want their children to receive good educations and job opportunities. In addition, they want to understand and be understood by those living in their community. By volunteering your time at CRAEC, you have the opportunity to help someone learn English as they build a new life in the U.S.

    Volunteers provide additional assistance in the classroom by helping teachers with in-class readings and lessons. They also provide extra conversation, writing, and reading help to each student. This individualized attention supports the teacher while helping the students to advance more quickly in their English language learning.


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    Classes at CRAEC

    Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative (CRAEC) offers a range of free English language learning (ELL) courses for adults from pre-literate to high intermediate, up to level 5 -- our most advanced course. The various levels ensure that anyone wanting to learn English has an opportunity to do so, regardless of prior education or experience. Besides ELL classes, CRAEC provides Citizenship classes, Computer Literacy classes, Math Tutorial, and Job Readiness classes. Math and numeracy are needed both for everyday activities and employment. In math class, students review basic math skills tailored to their math level. Tutoring is available in reading, conversation, job search skills and citizenship exam preparation. Computer skills tutoring is also available periodically. 

    ESL Classes / Schedules

    Morning (classes)

    Class days/Hours

    Beginning Literacy ESL

     Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Low & High Beg ESL

     Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Morning Intermediate ESL

     Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Afternoon (classes)

    Class days/Hours

    Afternoon Beginning ESL

     Monday - Thursday, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    Afternoon Intermediate/Advance ESL (Online class)

     Monday - Thursday, 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Afternoon Beg/Intermediate ESL (EAST Seward Tower)  Monday - Thursday, 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    Evening (classes)

    Class days/Hours
    Beginning ESL  Monday - Thursday, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Intermediate ESL  Monday - Thursday, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Other classes:

    Class  Class days/Hours
    Citizenship Tutorial

     Monday - Thursday, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm &

     Friday 10 am - 12:00 pm

    Math Class

     Monday & Wednesday, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    Open Computer Lab.

     Monday to Friday, 12:00 pm to 5:00pm

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