America’s Salad Bowl

July 2, 2010 at 12:53 PM | Posted in Announcements, Basic Literacy, ESOL, Family Learning, Volunteers | Comments Off on America’s Salad Bowl

Literacy Council adult learners have reported a plethora of life-changing success stories as a result of the work we do at the Literacy Council.  Many are now reading to their children or grandchildren regularly, some have just received their driver’s licenses, others have been promoted or acquired employment, and at least 10 so far this year have passed the citizenship test.

Congratulations to all of our students and volunteers for these many achievements! As we celebrate Independence Day, we can also celebrate the fact that we are giving these adult learners the tools they need to become more self-sufficient, independent, and productive citizens.

However, there is also a more subtle collective benefit that is equally important: creating an environment that builds community and strengthens understanding and acceptance across all cultures. The Literacy Council is a variety of adult learners who are all trying to better-themselves and become more engaged in their community.

Among our nearly 1,600 learners, the Literacy Council has over 40 countries represented and 64 different native languages spoken.  All of these very different people from very different places all over the world are learning together, learning about each other, and creating bonds and friendships they never imagined. They all want the best for themselves and for their families.

It is our American tradition at its best to provide adults, who have a common goal of learning the English language and literacy skills, an opportunity to learn, without regard to age, ethnicity, gender, cultural traditions, home language, or learning style.  We teach literacy skills to students in a rich and diverse community, and the end result is a more compassionate, understanding, better educated community.  This is what it means to build a stronger America.  This is why we have something to celebrating.

~ Patricia M. Donnelly, Executive Director


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