Literacy DuPage - Sparking conversations through literacy!
February 2019
For 30 years Kathy has lived in Naperville, IL where she’s raised a family and pursued a fulfilling career as a teacher. After she retired, she began looking for ways to volunteer in her community. For a while, Kathy was unsure where she should volunteer her time, until her daughter, who also became a teacher, came to her with a text message from one of her student’s parents. The parent was trying to communicate with Kathy’s daughter, but didn’t know enough English to do so and the text was unintelligible. 

After that day, Kathy followed the intuition that made her become teacher 30 years ago, and she decided to spend her retirement tutoring adults in English-literacy. Her sense of purpose led her to Literacy DuPage where Kathy was enrolled as a volunteer tutor and matched with a learner named Teresa. 
Teresa came to the United States after earning her bachelor’s degree in Mexico. However, her transition was difficult. As a student in Mexico Teresa easily wrote essays and read scholarly articles in Spanish, but after moving to the U.S. she could not communicate effectively in English. In order to reach her goal of finding a job in her field of study, Teresa needed to start her English-language education from the beginning.

Kathy was thrilled to help someone with such a high education level, but she also found it challenging to tailor lessors that would be engaging for Teresa and improve her English-language skills. Kathy and Teresa began their sessions with casual, comfortable conversation. Kathy soon found that Teresa became more confident speaking English when she realized she was in an environment free of judgement.

Over time, Kathy and Teresa expanded their focus to include reading, writing and comprehension. After a year of tutoring, Teresa is more self-assured in her vocabulary and pronunciation. She can engage in more conversations in English without struggling to understand others or be understood herself.

Kathy is proud of her success with Teresa and her commitment to Literacy DuPage. She considers Literacy DuPage a good fit for her as a volunteer, not only because she can continue her love of teaching, but because she can truly change the lives of those who need help learning English.

Tutors like Kathy help learners like Teresa realize their English-language goals and give them opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Our congratulations go out to Kathy and Teresa, whose commitment to education inspires us all. Thank you for lighting a SPARK through literacy!

If you would like to share your story, please contact Kathleen by email or phone.
Literacy DuPage - Sparking conversations through literacy!
Help Literacy DuPage break the language barrier! This April, we’ll take part in the Human Race organized by Giving DuPage. We need volunteers to run or walk to support our cause. Visit our website to learn more and register. Early-bird pricing is available now through February 28.
Kathleen Rusch
Volunteer Outreach and Marketing Coordinator
(630) 416-6699
Literacy DuPage | 630-416-6699 | Email | Website