Literacy DuPage - Be the SPARK in literacy!
March 2019
Ten years ago Maria and her family moved from Mexico to the United States and settled in Darien, Illinois. When she first arrived in the US, Maria knew very little English, but she was able to find a job working alongside her husband and other Spanish speakers. After Maria’s son started school, she learned that he was on the autism spectrum and would need special care. After years of frustrating meetings with teachers and doctors alongside translators, Maria knew that she had to learn English in order to get her son the care that he needed. Maria’s translator gave her information about Literacy DuPage. After a quick phone call and a placement exam, Maria was matched with her tutor, Bonnie.
Bonnie is a lifelong resident of Hinsdale, pursuing her education and career, raising a family, and retiring there. Bonnie read about Literacy DuPage and the need for tutors in the local paper. As an avid traveler, Bonnie understood the frustration of being unable to communicate in a country’s native language. Her desire to help those struggling with English led her to attend the tutor orientation and training with Literacy DuPage. At first, she was concerned that she would not be a good tutor because she did not have a background in English or teaching. She was encouraged by the Literacy DuPage Program Director that with proper training, anyone with a desire to help those in need could become a good tutor. Bonnie completed her training and met Maria. Soon afterwards they began working on Maria’s literacy goals.

Bonnie and Maria worked on health-related vocabulary that would help Maria communicate with her son’s doctors to ensure she understood his needs and knew his treatment options. As Maria’s confidence grew, they began working on Maria’s comprehension and conversational skills. Seeing Maria succeed and become independent with everyday tasks and in her personal and health-related conversations makes Bonnie feel very proud. “My life has been enriched by being Maria’s tutor,” Bonnie said. Maria is proud of her accomplishments as well. “I can understand more. I can participate more, too. I feel safer in my community.”

Maria is just one of the hundreds of students benefiting from health-literacy tutoring through Literacy DuPage. We congratulate Maria and Bonnie on their success in their lessons and celebrate their growing friendship.

If you would like to share your story, please contact Kathleen by email or phone.
Literacy DuPage - Be the SPARK in literacy!
Become a Literacy DuPage runner! We are 41 days away from the Huma n Race organized by Giving DuPage! So far we have 25 registrants! With YOU on our team we'll grow even stronger in our mission to change lives through literacy. Visit our website to learn more about the Human Race and register!
Kathleen Rusch
Volunteer Outreach and Marketing Coordinator
(630) 416-6699
Literacy DuPage | 630-416-6699 | Email | Website