My name is Elena Sokolova and I am from Russia. I came to this country so that my son could have a better future in the USA. I want to improve my English because I want to feel comfortable and communicate with other Americans and I would like to build my future in this country too. My tutor is Emma. She helps me improve my English and helps me to understand culture and traditions. She also helps me with every day responsibilities such as shopping, doctor’s appointments, and understanding my son’s college application process. With my tutor, I have met new people and visited new places, like Concord, MA.
Next Free ESL Tutor Training begins Fall 2015 (Dates TBD)
Volunteers must contact us to register for this training.
As a Literacy Volunteer, you can:
- Volunteer 2 hours each week
- Share conversation and American culture
- Receive free training and support
- Make a difference in an adult’s life
My name is John Matraia and I have been volunteer with Literacy Volunteers for two years. I am currently working with my third student, Kwabena Boakye. He has been in the United States for five years. We have been working together weekly for several months and Kwabena is making excellent progress, as he is very diligent about his class work.
In addition to working full time, Kwabena also works part time whenever he is needed. Being a member of his Church is a very important part of his life and has helped him to develop a network of friends. His long‐ term goal is to bring his children to America at some point in the future. They are currently in school in Ghana.
My name is Bijan Mohammadi. I was born in Iran and grew up in Germany, where I got a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. I have worked in the field of logistics automation for the shipping and auto parts industry as a technical support specialist for more than 12 years. I got married in Worcester, MA. My wife and I have a daughter who is going into kindergarten this year. We decided to live and work in Massachusetts. I arrived in the US late in 2012. After a week a got a part time job at Burlington Coat Factory.
My name is Jean Bowker. My student’s name is Janaq Rungollari. I became a literacy tutor almost 2 years ago. As a former teacher of reading and language, I enjoy working and seeing the gains my student has made. I was proud to attend the ceremony and see Janaq become a U.S. Citizen as I tutored him in this area also. Janaq has been a wonderful student and I have learned so much from him.
Literacy Volunteers provides a valuable service to immigrants to give them the skills to become productive and literate citizens. It also provides tutors with a greater understanding of the hardships many of our immigrants face. As tutors we make a difference in more ways than learning, and serve as mentors when there are problems faced by students new in this country.
My name is Bob Laperriere. I tutor 2 students, Durga Khawas from Bhutan, and Tha Shi Wah, from Burma. Both are refugee immigrants with remarkable life stories. I became a tutor last summer. I retired from the postal service in 2012 as a letter carrier and was looking for some interesting things to do so, among other things, I ended up as a tutor with Literacy Volunteers.
I had no idea how much fun it would be to meet these fascinating, gracious, gentle people that I have come to respect and love. I think I get more out of these relationships of learning than they do. I grew up in a poor French-Canadian family surrounded by others from Quebec who had immigrated to Lowell, Lawrence and Haverhill to work in the mills and shoe shops. I remember the struggles I saw my grandparents and my parents made to improve their lives and can really empathize with these new visitors to America.
On Christmas Eve I received the amazing news that Durga Khawas had passed the US Citizenship test. That truly astounded me as I knew the language disabilities he struggles with. His positive, very hardworking spirit and his clever methods for memorizing language were rewarded. I have learned a lot from both of my students.
My name is Kwabena Boakye. I am from Ghana, in West Africa. I came to this country because I wanted to build my life here. My tutor’s name is John Matraia. He helps me with speaking, reading and writing English. I take English classes at his office on Tuesday at 10 am. I want to improve my English because in this country everyone speaks English. To get a job or talk with people in offices, or in stores you need to be able to speak English. I like Literacy Volunteers because they are good people and help me. My dream in this country is to learn wisdom [through my Christian faith].
My name is Janaq Rungolarri, I came to the United States from Albania to seek a better life. I recently was sworn in as a United States Citizen on April 9, 2014. It was a very proud day for me, and my tutor attended the ceremony with my wife and I. Through Literacy Volunteers, I have learned to read, write, and improve my spoken language skills by many grade levels. I began my journey here as a dishwasher and I am now employed by the Trappist Monastery full time and I am being trained in the art of winemaking. I am very grateful to Literacy Volunteers for providing the help I need to become a proud and productive citizen.
My name is Durga Khawas. I came to the United States on September 22 of 2009 from Bhutan. I was born there but I am ethnically a Nepali. Because of our Nepalese heritage, my family and many other Nepalese families in Bhutan were harshly discriminated against and we ended up in refugee camps in Nepal for a long time. It was wonderful to be allowed into the United States 5 years ago. There are over 250 Nepalese families living in Worcester now who originally lived in Bhutan.