The LVGW new mission statement is To provide social and economic empowerment through culturally compassionate English language education
“For the first time since I arrived [in the US], I felt part of this community, sharing with people like me,…and that really motivated me to keep growing.” This is how Maya, an English language learner, described her first experience with LVGW’s classes.
Throughout the past few months, we have remained committed to our students, and we have transitioned to distance learning for both classes and tutoring.
We need your help to sustain these vital services.
Hear from volunteers and students, including Maya, about what LVGW means to them:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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