Providing English language skills to help people thrive in our community since 1973
Spring Newsletter
May 2020
Dear Friends,

By now you may have heard, "While we are all in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat." This sentiment especially rings true for English learners. Those who cannot read, write, or speak English proficiently may not understand the rapidly evolving situation and what they can do to care for themselves and their families. They may not have access to necessary resources. They may be taken advantage of by scams or not knowing their rights.

Education provides critical shelter from the storm. At LVGW, our staff, teachers, and volunteers work hard to provide accurate information and resources, as well as help students develop the communication skills they need to navigate these tumultuous times. With literacy instruction, our adult learners are better prepared to weather the storm.

Our community continues to demonstrate compassion, resilience, and creativity, even in the face of a pandemic. We continue to teach and learn from our students. [Pathologist and LVGW student Livia has created videos on proper hand-washing and how to sew a mask at home.] We have remained steadfast in our mission.

Thank you for supporting our immigrant and refugee neighbors, and for believing in the power of education.

Please read on for course updates, our fundraiser review, a participant spotlight, and free web resources students can use from home.

In solidarity,
Elyse Waksman
Elyse Waksman
Executive Director
ESOL Courses
Spring/Summer Update

We had a lot of changes this winter as our Literacy Academy program adjusted to the changes brought on due to COVID-19. As we had to end in-person classes halfway through the term, most teachers were able to continue interacting with students through remote learning. Our students enjoyed being able to continuing to practice English from a distance. Now that we have had more time to transition and adjust, we are fully prepared for a successful summer term online via Zoom, and we are looking forward to interacting with students again virtually!

You can find our summer schedule here. Students can register here. We will reach out with confirmation emails/calls by May 29th. All looking to improve their English language skills are welcome to join!
Spring into Literacy Campaign & Online Auction
May 3 - 9, 2020
With your help, we exceeded our fundraising goal of $8,000 this spring! These funds will allow us to sustain our programming during these challenging times.

Thank you to all of our donors, bidders, and supporters who invited family and friends to participate.

We are very grateful to Bay State Savings Bank and The Hanover Insurance Group for contributing $2,500 each, as well as Country Bank for contributing $1,000.

We couldn't have done this without you!

If you haven't had a chance yet, watch the video of students and volunteers describing what LVGW means to them.
Student-Tutor Pair Spotlight
Loreta and Crystal
“I am Loreta. I am from Albania. I have 5 years living here in Worcester. I miss the language but with the help that Crystal teacher is giving me, I am feeling something different. I understand sentences, I know how to read short passages, write a little, describe and more! Crystal is a great teacher. She finds my weakest part and works with me until she is convinced that I have learned it. The teacher gives me the opportunity to give my ideas. Thank you for this great job you are doing with me.
“Loreta and I have been in constant communication with one another during this pandemic. We have been video chatting through WhatsApp as well as texting. I've also been creating powerpoint slides as lessons for her. That way she can continue practicing how to read and write on her own and then we discuss and have conversation through video chat to review what she's learned so far. It’s been an amazing experience. Not only are we tutors helping our students grow and flourish in this country, but we are also giving them a voice. The students need the language in order to survive, communicate, and defend themselves in this country. The only way to do this is to break down these barriers.
Our dedicated staff, tutors, and students didn't miss a beat when we announced that in-person tutoring would be on hold. Throughout the past two months, our staff have been in close communication with each tutoring pair to check in and offer support when needed. Thanks to the creativity and resourcefulness of our community, we have been able to continue with tutoring from a distance. It has been inspiring to hear from people like Loreta and Crystal about how important this program is to them, even when we can't be together in person. To our tutors: We are so thankful for all that you do!
Resource Center
Helpful web resources for English learners
News for You OnlineWeb

Read and listen to articles about current events written for English learners, complete crossword puzzles, and learn new vocabulary words. Through June 30, News for You Online is providing free access with password 22667F.

USA LearnsWeb

USA Learns is a free website with video lessons to help adults learn English and prepare for U.S. citizenship online.

Duolingo –  Web & Apps

Duolingo includes a free language-learning website and mobile app with mini lessons that make studying fun and easy.

BBC Learning EnglishWeb

BBC Learning English provides free resources and activities for teachers and students, primarily through its website.
"Everyone must be given the opportunity to think, read, and write."
― Lailah Gifty Akita