April is national Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we’re celebrating the passion and dedication that our amazing volunteers bring to hundreds of our adult learners each and every week. Volunteers are vital to BeLit. As you can see from our video tribute and spotlight stories below, their active participation in our classes and program delivery make an indispensable impact in our students’ lives.

BeLit Volunteer Spotlight:

David Alpher, ESOL Class Aide

(Pictured left with an ESOL learner and teacher, Mitch Berger)

When David first approached BeLit about volunteering years ago, he knew he wanted to give back to the community. Initially he thought he might help with fundraising given his career in communications and print media, but after visiting with students and seeing the classes in action, he knew that was where he wanted to spend his time.

David has supported both our Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes as well as English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) as a class aide and co-teacher. David particularly enjoys serving in our ESOL program and assisting teacher, Mitch Berger, in his reading comprehension classes for immigrants. Mitch shares, “David is very generous with his time, and always has our students’ best interests at heart. I’m so appreciative of his good nature and support!”

David’s most rewarding moments as a BeLit volunteer are helping his learners progress from struggling to learn a new language to becoming conversant English speakers and seeing them advance in their careers thanks to their new skills. When asked why volunteering is important to him David explains, “Volunteering some of your time pays dividends for yourself but also for your country.”

We so appreciate David’s genuine compassion and ongoing support of BeLit’s learners!

BeLit Volunteer Spotlight:

Kathy Roberson, ABE Class Aide

(Pictured with the BeLit Book Club)

When Kathy retired from a career in social work, she earned a certification in adult education to add to her master’s degree in creative writing. Kathy’s passion for reading and poetry led her to volunteer with Beyond Literacy as a class aide in teacher Dan Waters’ reading, language arts and social studies classes. That was four years ago; it’s been a true win-win ever since. Kathy describes working with Dan as “a master class in compassionate teaching.” Dan feels similarly about Kathy and shares, “She’s universally loved and respected by our students thanks to her selfless, caring attitude which is felt by all who interact with her. She’s the best volunteer I could ask for.” 

Kathy is a firm believer in empowering BeLit learners to find their voice by expressing it through creative writing. Both current and former students will regularly share their stories with Kathy who provides them with feedback and encouragement. “Being able to write your thoughts is so enriching,” Kathy says.

Recently when asked if she would also consider volunteering to co-lead this spring’s BeLit Book Club, Kathy didn’t hesitate to pitch in. Claire Tucker, the club’s teacher, describes Kathy’s help as invaluable saying, “She always has great examples and finds ways to relate to both the students and the material. I’m excited to continue working with her, and so grateful for her expertise!”

Read the April newsletter, The BeLit Bulletin here: https://conta.cc/3zJqAVm

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