Volunteer Spotlight: Fall Classes Expand to Meet Increasing Needs

Volunteer Spotlight: Fall Classes Expand to Meet Increasing Needs

In response to rising demand for English language programs, the Literacy Council’s volunteers and staff have been working hard throughout the summer to expand its Community Class Program to reach more adult learners, and work to overcome barriers that prevent adult learners from accessing literacy programs, such as transportation challenges, child care demands, and changing work schedules.  We are excited to be able to offer a diverse selection of Fall Classes, including beginning, intermediate, and more advanced levels for adult learners, with a combination of in-person classes offered in multiple locations and remote classes. Classes are meeting for ten weeks and began earlier this month. Over 175 adults are enrolled in classes! For details about registering with the Literacy Council as a new or continuing student, contact the office at info@frederickliteracy.org or (301) 600-2066.

Our volunteer instructors are critical!  We invite you to meet our volunteer instructor team!

Catherine, is teaching Writing 1 & 2, Writing Workshop, and is facilitating a weekly Student-Led Conversation Class (pictured on left with several Summer Book Club members).  The writing classes review sentence building and vocabulary, and students work on writing different kinds of paragraphs such as an opinion paragraph and a descriptive paragraph.  The Writing Workshop is an advanced course for high-intermediate to advanced students who want to improve their writing.  Students are invited to bring in their work weekly for critiques.  The narrative structure and focus is on nonfiction creative writing, but any work that the students wish to pursue will be encouraged.  Catherine is also the co-editor for Reflections: Voices of English Learners, a literary magazine featuring students’ original stories and has taught over 30 classes for the Literacy Council!

Lynn, John (class pictured on left) and Kim (photo, right, who just joined to help teach a 3rd level class) and Erin (lower right) are teaching Parent Conversation Classes again at Butterfly Ridge and Waverley Elementary Schools throughout the school year.  FCPS staff help to recruit parents who are then assessed by the Literacy Council to be placed in classes at the right level.  Parents meet at the school for tutoring and classes as part of our Parent Literacy Program. Lynn is also teaching High Beginner and Intermediate Conversation classes, both remote and in person at the Literacy Council.  She is also helping to lead a new Literacy Council class in collaboration with the Asian American Center of Frederick’s at their new Family Support Center.

Classes focus on helping the parents to gain English language proficiency that can specifically help them support their children’s education, including understanding communications sent by the schools.  Thanks to our collaboration with the Judy Center for providing childcare!

Eileen (photo on right) will continue teaching Beginner Reading and Phonics which focuses on short and long vowels, stories and activities. Eileen has been teaching classes since 2020 and is the ninth session she has conducted!  Harriet (no photo available) is teaching a Beginner Conversation class in the Literacy Council’s classroom.  Carmen (right) has also recently joined as volunteer instructor and is teaching an Intermediate Conversation class online.



Judy (left) continues teaching an evening Intermediate Conversation class, in addition to her teaching at FCC!  This will be her tenth class conducted at the Literacy Council.  Students will role play everyday situations to strengthen listening, speaking, and conversation skills. Don (no photo available), a new instructor who joined earlier this year will be teaching an Intermediate Conversation daytime class.  Also welcome to Tony (right), also a new instructor, who is teaching a virtual High Intermediate Conversation class.



Gus (left) is teaching a new Advanced Conversation weekend class at the C. Burr Artz Library, his 12th class with the Literacy Council!  The focus of this class is for more advanced students to improve their conversation skills and learn about language concepts, and the history of the English language.



Ed (right) is teaching a daytime High Beginner Conversation class and an evening Beginner Conversation class at C. Burr Artz Library, his fourth session.

We are excited to add a Beginner and an Intermediate Conversation class at new satellite locations, Brunswick Branch Library and Walkersville Branch Library, thanks to Brent and Samantha (right), as the class instructors.

Welcome also to Kathleen (left), who has newly joined our volunteer team and is teaching a new High Beginner Conversation class in the Ballenger Creek area!

Digital Literacy is being taught  on an individual student basis this session led by Pat (right), the Literacy  Council’s IT volunteer.

Thanks to instructor Marianne (left), we are again offering a U.S. Civics class, complete with field trips to local sites, beginning in early November – February.




Finding the Right Level: Each new Literacy Council student participates in an intake and assessment appointment facilitated by our staff in order to determine the placement to meet their needs based on their English language proficiency level for listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing.  If leaners are more advanced, they are referred to Frederick Community College, enabling the Literacy Council to work with adults who are at more beginning levels where they can benefit from the individualized and targeted tutoring and small class sizes. Gaining confidence is a critical element in learning a new language. The Literacy Council provides a supportive and nurturing environment to help these adults on their literacy journey. For general information on classes conducted by the Literacy  Council throughout the year, you can learn more HERE.

Our Tutoring and Community Class Programs are only possible through the generous support of our Volunteer Tutors and Class Instructors!  Consider becoming a Literacy Council Volunteer this year!!

Tutor Training Workshops:

We are kicking off our Fall schedule of Volunteer Information Sessions and Tutor Training Workshops. Thanks to our volunteer Tutor Training Team, Tutor Training Workshops are offered throughout the year, together with the  Literacy Council of Washington County. Check them out!  Please help spread the word and share our training flyer with your networks. We are always in need of more tutors and class instructors.

Thank you to our Tutor Training Team (Caroline, Catherine, Sarah, Lynn, Charmie, Becky, Karen) for preparing new volunteer tutors to work with individuals and small groups in our Tutoring Program!  Congratulations to our recent Tutor Training Graduates!

Workshops provide an introduction to teaching Basic Literacy Students (native English speakers) and English Language learners. Updates are provided about the needs of students on our waiting lists, hands on resources and tips for lesson planning, conversation practice, vocabulary. pronunciation, grammar, reading instruction, writing, the language experience, how to use WhatsApp, and getting started with your student.

The Literacy Council of Frederick County provides adults with pathways to essential literacy skills. Success for the individuals and families we seek to serve rests on a collective community approach that shapes a full path to a thriving life. You can learn more about ways to volunteer on our website. Listen to what our tutors have to say about their work on this short YouTube video