Naperville Bank & Trust555 Fort Hill Dr.Naperville, IL60540
In 2004, Javier and his wife, along with their infant son, immigrated to the United States seeking a better life for their young family. When he first arrived, there was not a tremendous need to learn English since his community spoke Spanish, and most professional and government services offered information in his native language.
As time went on however, and his son started school, it became more difficult to communicate with his child’s teachers, health care professionals, etc. He also understood the impact an education could have for someone in America. Now a father to three, he wants more for his kids.
“I want to learn everything I can,” he states enthusiastically, but he sought out the help of Literacy DuPage because of his children.
“I want to show how important education is to my kids by making it important to me,” he continues.
Javier meets with Barb Langfeld, a retired educator, once a week for two hours. Initially, the pair started with the basics using the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, which focuses on learning how to speak the language and basic survival skills. It only took him four months to graduate from the ESL program, which enabled him to speak English more confidently.
“Although Javier was at a beginning level, he was so enthusiastic,” says Barb. “He worked extremely hard and was eager to progress.”
In January of 2016, he started the Adult Base Education (ABE) program, focusing on the continued development of his speaking skills, in addition to reading for comprehension and writing.
In roughly 18 months, Javier has completed more than a grade and a half of schooling. While he can now read sentences fluently, he is most excited about how his learning helps him bond with his sons, and he can even help his daughter with her homework.
Additionally, Barb and Javier started emailing each other to help him learn how to use this integral tool of communication. “There are so many gaps in education when you are dealing with someone that comes from another country, things we don’t even think about like signing your name or how to write a greeting in a letter.”
Once a reluctant student, Javier now hopes to obtain his GED.
In the two and a half years the pair has worked together, they have formed a special bond. Barb started working with Literacy DuPage four years ago at the suggestion of her sister, but she volunteers because she feels a responsibility to give back to her community.
“I just love to work with people,” says Barb, whose face lights up with pride as she talks about her students. “I get so much more from volunteering with Literacy DuPage than anyone gets out of me.”
Help Change Someone’s Future - Become a Literacy DuPage Volunteer Tutor!
We are currently recruiting tutors to help more than 200 learners improve their foundational English skills to get jobs, support their families and thrive in their communities.
What makes a great tutor?
Passion for helping and teaching and seeing their learner grow.
Patience to help learners where they’re at and slowly improve over time.
Empathy to understand the learner may be balancing work, family and other responsibilities, all in a community where they may not speak with language.
Resourcefulness to connect learners with the information and tools they need to thrive.
If this sounds like you, we would love to meet you! Go to our website, www.literacydupage.org, call us at (630) 416-6699 to register for an upcoming orientation!
Help us continue our important work of empowering adults, families and communities through literacy!