Witnessing the progression of English language in adult immigrants and refugees which my program serves, is heartwarming and immeasurably rewarding. As my learners progress to each level of our language and then become U.S. citizens is the joy of my life. The ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada was created in 2004 and in 2008 was given the nonprofit status. It provides educational programs in ESL, GED Preparation, Workplace Communication, Computer Literacy and U.S. Citizenship study at no cost. Our trained ESL community volunteers tutor at the student's availability in the homes of the student or tutor, as well as in public sites (i,.e., library). We teach morning, noon, night, weekends, holidays at no cost to the learner. My program has helped over 6,000 adult immigrant and refugee families in 5 counties of Northern Nevada: Carson, Washoe, Douglas, Lyon and Churchill Counties. Our learners have found jobs, were advanced in their employment, communicate with their children's teachers and medical personnel without interpreters, help their children with homework and other school activities, shop in English-speaking stores, and some have enrolled in higher education. 301 have become U.S. citizens.
"Susann played a huge role in helping me pass the GED," student Sarah said. "Thanks to her tutoring, I was able to score in the top 5 percent of the country. I am very thankful for the help I got from the Anne Arundel County Literacy Council."
SBLC hosted our annual fundraiser July 27, 2018 where learner Mykel Knight recited a poem. Mykel recently passed the social studies portion of his GED and is a prolific poet. Mykel received a standing ovation and his donated, framed poem sold in a competitive bid! We look forward to watching Mykel succeed passing his GED, building his self-esteem and happily going through life! Mykel will be featured in a local coffee house, The Drowsy Poet, for their first live poetry event.
Elizabeth shares a quote from her student Felix:
"I'm Felix and I'm from the Dominican Republic. I want to improve my English. I found out about Washington English Center on the website. I was interested in this school because it's a school that helps all immigrants and it's fun to know people from different countries. We have different teachers every time and that's good for us. Everyone has different ideas and accents and that's good for us. Some speak more slowly, some more quickly. This is my first time in an English school. I learned English in my ex-job, but now I'm learning the rules and the vocabulary and that's helped me a lot. I appreciate everything the teachers do for us."
Lee County Literacy Council, Inc.
As Program Manager, I have had the pleasure of witnessing both children and adults acquire the vital literacy skills to be able to read the necessary materials to conduct their lives with the dignity and respect that our culture demands of them.