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Kate has been a dedicated Literacy Council tutor for many years and often has several students at a time. Previously a nursery school teacher, she was at first nervous about working with adults. At her first tutoring session with “Hae-Won,” who spoke limited English and had not had any formal schooling since age seven, Kate quickly realized that her student was more nervous than she was! Together they worked on Hae-Won’s English reading and writing skills. Eventually Hae-Won studied for and passed the Maryland Driver’s License test, an achievement that enabled her to obtain a job—and to get health insurance for the first time in 20 years.

Kate

Learning to Read and Write English

In the words of Denise, an experienced tutor, “The Frederick Literacy Office is usually a rather quiet, calm place—except during conversation class days, when laughter, chatter, and conversation abound. Sometimes there are as few as four participants but often as many as twelve. We chat together in small groups or as a whole group, play interactive games, share stories, read and discuss the newspaper, and sometimes share snacks from our respective countries. But mostly we enjoy learning about each other.”

Denise

Learning Conversational English

Scott, a retired National Weather Service meteorologist, wants his Literacy Council students to better speak and understand English because he doesn’t want them to be taken advantage of. He hopes his warmth and commitment to helping his current student, “Rocio,” learn English will show her that Americans can be welcoming and caring. In addition to her Literacy Council sessions, Rocio attends language classes at Frederick Community College. She has put her developing English skills to the test by taking a job at Popeye’s, where she must understand and speak English well enough to serve customers in a fast-paced environment. She’s also working toward getting her driver’s license. Rocio, who is from Mexico, said she is driven by the aspiration “for a better future.”

Scott

Showing That Americans Care

Holly recently retired and moved back to Frederick County. She enrolled in the LCFC tutor training workshop and was recently assigned her first student. In the meantime, she has been working as a volunteer in our office every Wednesday – organizing learning materials, entering data, or preparing mailings. She says that people who come seeking to learn English inspire her to be a better teacher. She adds, “Everyone I have encountered at the Literacy Council has been warm, welcoming, and very helpful as I [learn] more about the Literacy Council and its place in the community.”

Holly

The Next Phase

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