45th Annual Meeting and International Potluck Dinner
Celebrating 45 years: 1973 to 2018
Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester has been providing English language skill education since 1973 in Worcester. Our constituents came together for our special 45th Annual Meeting where we celebrated over a shared International Potluck dinner. Attendees included our Board of Directors, Program and Teaching Staff, Volunteer Tutors and Students and their families. We are proud and honored to be a longstanding provider to 600 adults per year who are in need of ABE/ESOL English language skill education, to not only thrive in Worcester, but improve their future with English language proficiency and economic security.
Everyone at Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester has a vital role to create a positive impact with our students and our community.
We are grateful for all who chose to contribute their time, talent, skills and contributions to help us make an impact on so many.
Yours in Community,
Jolene Jennings and the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester Team
Everyone has a story to tell. The Worcester Women’s Oral History Project collects, preserves, and shares the stories of Worcester women including the stories of immigrants who have lived in Worcester for many years and have established themselves as doctors, entrepreneurs, teaches, and directors of nonprofit organizations. This year WWHOP has collaborated with five Worcester organizations that work with immigrants and refugees in order to gather stories of women who have more recently emigrated from a variety of countries, including Colombia, Algeria, Brazil, China and Burma. Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester was one of the five collaborating nonprofits and we invite you to join us. Print out attached flyer and rsvp to WWOHP today.
We and our students were honored to collaborate with WWOHP in recording these stories and look forward to sharing the experiences with you! Please join Worcester Women’s Oral History Project and Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester in celebrating the completion of these immigrant women stories at the public event on 12/5/17.
Immigrant and Refugee Stories of Worcester Women
Tuesday, 12/5/17, at 5:30 pm
Worcester Public Library, Saxe Room
free and open to the public – refreshments will be served
rsvp email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Addeo, Unum disability benefits specialist in Worcester’s Benefits Center, says volunteering with Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester is good for the soul.
Inside: When did you start volunteering?
Amanda: In high school, I was a member of several student organizations where we volunteered around Worcester.
Inside: Why do you volunteer?
Amanda: My motto is “my day-job pays the bills but volunteering feeds my soul.” It’s important for me to be an active member of my community and give back whenever possible, but it’s also
rewarding to see the ripple effect that comes with volunteering. Through my volunteer work, I’ve developed new skills, networked and made great friends, all while helping others. Volunteering can also be a meditative practice that helps you gain a deeper perspective of how communities connect with people.
Inside: What organizations do you volunteer for?
Amanda: I’m volunteering with Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester (LVGW) as a literacy tutor and member of the board of directors right now. In the past, I volunteered with Worcester State University and South High School for Massachusetts Education & Career Opportunities, Inc.’s College Success Institute. I would work with high school juniors and seniors to prepare them for college and beyond.
Inside: What does your volunteer work at LVGW look like?
Amanda: We help adults refine their literacy skills. We teach immigrants, refugees and adult basic-literacy students to read, write and speak English. Participants range from those learning English for the first time to citizens and residents of the community who are functionally illiterate or unable to manage daily living and employment tasks that require skills beyond an elementary level. Each tutor is matched with a student for weekly tutoring sessions. My tutee, Libo, is a young woman from China. She studied some English in China where she attended college, but ended up moving to the United States when her husband enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Every Friday, Libo and I meet at a coffee shop and focus on conversation, pronunciation, reading and writing. There was a significant cultural exchange that took place as well. We talked about history, politics, cultural norms and traditions – both American and Chinese.
Inside: Do you have a favorite memory or story from volunteering?
Amanda: When Libo and I started working together she was very quiet and isolated herself from the fast-talking American lifestyle. We began with restaurant menus and transitioned to reading Hemingway and Kafka. As her English improved, her confidence did too. Libo, now funny and social, is not just a tutee but my friend. Libo welcomed the birth of her first son and lovingly calls me his auntie.
Inside: What advice would you give to others who are considering volunteering?
Amanda: Volunteering breaks barriers like illiteracy. Whether you volunteer for LVGW or another organization, you are donating your time to build a sustainable community for the future. You learn about yourself and the people you are helping, and it’s an eye-opening experience.
Interview Credits: Unum internal newsletter 9/5/2017
Our winter session will run for twelve weeks, starting on January 23. Registration will be held January 3 – 13, 2017 at our Main Office, located on the 3rd floor of the Worcester Public Library. Students may register for no more than two courses. Courses are free, but we suggest a donation of $25 to attend one course, $35 to attend two courses. Weekly attendance is expected. Please see our Winter 2017 Schedule for more information.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of our new executive director and three new board members.
Jolene Jennings was named permanent executive director of the nonprofit after serving in the interim role for six months. Jennings, who has a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Worcester State University, has 20 years of experience in the Greater Worcester nonprofit sector.
We also voted in three new board members for three-year terms: Melissa Depanian, a senior marketing manager at EnerNOC in Boston; Frank Callahan, director of planned giving at Worcester Academy; and Amanda Addeo, a disability benefits specialist at Unum Group.
Literacy Volunteers will hold their First Holiday Bake Sale and Exchange on Tuesday, December 13th, from 12:30-2:30 pm in the Banx Room of the Worcester Public Library.
Please join us in celebrating the traditions of our diverse cultures this holiday season over coffee and baked goods. Our students, teachers, tutors and all those interested in learning more about Literacy Volunteers are invited.
The Bake Sale table, an American tradition, will also have baked goods for sale to take home. All proceeds benefit Literacy Volunteers programs.
Contact Melissa or Sheila at email@example.com to register to attend, volunteer or bring a baked good.
You can donate individually wrapped baked goods with holiday recipe attached the day before event on Monday, December 12 from 10am-2pm. Drop off at Literacy Volunteers office at the library, Suite 332.
Our next tutor training session is scheduled for January, 2017. Registration is now open!
The training consists of six sessions totaling 18-hours and will be held on January 10, 12, 17, 19, 24, and 27th, from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. This training prepared you to start one-on-one tutoring with our ESL students.
Seating is limited-please pre-register by Friday, January 6th.
If you would like to volunteer and be considered for a tutor position please download and fill out this application and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.