Thank you, Mike!

Mike has been with us for ten years and has had three (sometimes overlapping) students: one for five years, one for almost three years, and Olga for 5.5 years. He is now 88 years old, and he retired. He had his last class with Olga on Friday. Thank you, Mike! Watch Olga’s experience working with Mike: 

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ESOL success story: Dulce’s dream came true!

Dulce has been an ESOL student for fifteen years. She started taking classes with a volunteer tutor five years after she moved to the country. She didn’t know much English then but strongly desired to learn. Our one-on-one classes were perfect for her and her learning style. She’s had many ups and downs during these years and sometimes had to take extended breaks from taking lessons due to life circumstances. She always came back.

Last year, inspired by an experience on the morning of her birthday, she wrote “The Sunrise and the Fog,” a book in English! Although she’s always had a passion for writing, it surprised her that she had the impulse to write her first book in her second language. Congratulations, Dulce! And thank you! You can read The sunrise and the fog here! (pay close attention to the dedication!). Watch the video below, where Dulce speaks about her book. Make sure you watch it on Youtube so you can read the subtitles. 

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program teaches oral English, reading, and writing to adults who have immigrated to the U.S. from around the world. ESOL is the largest program at Literacy Together, serving approximately 250 students annually. Our students’ most common goals in learning English are to improve their employment prospects, help their children in school, and pass the U.S. Naturalization exam

Each student works with a trained volunteer tutor, either individually or in a small group of ten people. Tutoring takes place for two hours each week at times and locations that are mutually convenient for students and tutors. Tutors may choose to teach one (1) two-hour session or two (2) one-hour sessions each week and may do so online or in person. Sign up online to volunteer.

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Thanks to WLOS ABC 13 for featuring our ESOL student MZ’s story!

Thanks so much, WLOS ABC 13 News, for featuring MZ’s story and helping us to spread the word about Literacy Together’s work in the community. Would you like to support students like MZ? Our English for Speakers of Other Languages Program has a waiting list of 70 people. They’ve been waiting for months for tutors. Please sign up online to attend a volunteer orientation meeting. Even if you can’t commit to volunteering right now, we’d love to have you so you can learn more about our work in the community. 
Follow this link to watch the interview. These are some photos of MZ, her tutor Judith and the TV crew at our office on the day of the shooting.

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In this video, our ESOL volunteer tutor Gwen shares her experience

Gwen is an ESOL tutor. She has an extended background in education, and she’s been an unconventional teacher all her life. She started tutoring Leyda last year, adding many field trips and hands-on experiences to their lessons. For example, they always end the classes with a visit to a cafe. Our volunteer tutors don’t need to have a background in education. We train them, and that’s all they need to start tutoring. But we also encourage them to be creative and do what works best for their students. In this video, Gwen shares her experience. Thank you!

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M.Z. Success Story (Written by J.K, her tutor)

With her husband and two preschool daughters, MZ fled her home country, Afghanistan, and the Taliban during the great international airlift of August 2021. After stops in Qatar, Germany, and New Mexico, the family arrived in Asheville in January 2022.
MZ discovered a passion and great talent for making beaded jewelry in her new homeland. Since discovering her talent, MZ has worked tirelessly, and by selling her creations at local craft fairs, she has increased her household income by 2/3 in the past month.
MZ came to Literacy Together in the early summer. She had no access to formal education in her home country and did not read or write her native language. MZ has been taking English lessons twice a week since May, and she has learned how to count to one thousand, the names of many colors, how to relate sales to money earned, and how to read checkbooks. Check out some of her creations! If you’re interested in purchasing MZ’s designs, she can be reached via email at:
Would you like to become a volunteer tutor to support students like M.Z.? Check out our volunteer roles. Sign up to come to a volunteer orientation meeting. Thanks!

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