I started volunteering at Mid-State Literacy Council because I have experienced what it is like to be on the other end of not having acquired the necessary skill to communicate effectively in a different country.
The thought of sitting down and writing can often seem scary and daunting. It’s sometimes hard to put your thoughts into words, or to craft that perfect sentence. When you’re all finished, however, there’s no feeling quite like having written something you’re proud of—something you want to share with the world.
Technical skills are not only relevant to the youngest generation. While the latest gadgets are always in the hands of teenagers, everyone must adapt and learn new technology to access everything from doctor’s appointments and health insurance to job applications, online training, public services, and community information.
The best teachers are constant learners. In line with that axiom, an enthusiastic group of tutor recruits joined together to start their summer at our New Tutor Training in late May.
Every Tuesday and Thursday over the past winter, a group of 15 adult learners of English filled a classroom at Mid-State Literacy Council.
One goal shared by many of the students at Mid-State Literacy Council is to increase confidence when conversing with native English speakers. Priyanka, a young woman from India, works in a local restaurant in downtown State College.
Maria lived in Cuba her entire life until moving to Miami, Florida two years ago to be with her sisters. She recently moved to State College to live with her daughter who is pursuing her Ph.D. from Penn State University. She started learning English only one year ago and began by watching television shows and YouTube videos.
Wencheng Wang enrolled in the TOEFL Prep program this past fall to accelerate his English. A visiting scholar at Penn State in the field of Traffic Planning, Wencheng began learning English when he was only eleven years old as part of China’s education system.
Volunteering at Mid-State Literacy Council is a nice break during the week for Nicole, a Penn State senior majoring in Immunology and Infectious Disease. She describes it as “beneficial” and “a good use of her time.”