LITERACY CENTER NEWS
I was born the sixth of ten children in Christ Church, Barbados. Barbados is beautiful with soft, warm winds and flowers everywhere. When I was 16 years old, I had to leave school to help out at home.
Our parents taught us responsibility: work hard, do not take what does not belong to you, take care of each other and treat people with respect. But, jobs were scarce. My father went to England to work. My older sister did, too. My aunt went to the United States. My mother followed.
When I was 23, my aunt paid for my passage to the United States. I flew on Pan Am Airlines to JFK Airport. I did not understand much of the English that I heard because people spoke very fast. In my aunt’s small apartment in New York City, my aunt told me that I must learn American English to be able to work. So, during the day I would walk down the street listening to people. I saw groups of men my age standing on the street corner, day after day, doing nothing. I did not join them. I wanted to learn, to work, to make a good life. Soon, my aunt found me a job with Pitney Bowes in Connecticut. I had to learn how to use Metro North.
When my paycheck came, my aunt sat me down to talk to me. She said, “Manage your money wisely. Don’t be buying things you cannot afford. Work hard and save your money. To have a good life, you must act responsibly.”
Today, I do have a good life. I met and married a good woman. We have a family. I have a steady job. I bought a house. My sons will never have to leave school to help out at home.
One of my goals is to get a better job. Although I learned to speak English well, reading and writing it is difficult. With the help of my tutor from the Milford Literacy Center, I am improving those skills and look forward to a bright future.
Student: Carl Gaskin
Volunteer to become a Tutor
A wonderful opportunity for you can make a difference in someone else’s life! Did you know there are more than 25,000 people in Milford, Stratford and West Haven without a high school diploma? Did you know there are more than 3,400 adults who are not fluent in English and there are 57 non-English languages spoken in these cities? (Data taken from the Milford, Stratford and West Haven School District Strategic School Profile, 2012-2013)
The Literacy Center of Milford offers five-week volunteer TUTOR TRAINING classes in ESL (English as a Second Language).
Classes begin in January.
There is a $20 fee for course materials. Knowledge of a foreign language is not necessary. All prospective volunteer tutors will be interviewed in advance. For further information, call The Literacy Center office between the hours of 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at 203-878-4800.
Additionally, if you are interested in working with students preparing for their GED (General Equivalency Diploma) examination, or prefer to help adult students with basic literacy skills, call the Center’s office for an interview.
The Literacy Center of Milford is part of the ProLiteracy network of adult basic education and literacy programs. ProLiteracy is working with its member programs to raise awareness of available ESL services.
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