Cape Cod Literacy Council

P.O. Box 550
Hyannis, MA 02601
Phone: 508-771-0211


If you would like help learning to read and write English call us at 508-862-1305 or 508-771-0211

Who are our students?

Iris and Richard

Enjoying the day in Boston at the Farmers’ Market, Iris and Richard pose for a photo taken by Richard’s wife, Judy.

They are store clerks, retired people, fishermen, young parents, school dropouts and high school graduates. They are people who have had to memorize mountains of oral information all of their lives in order to keep their secret. Finally, they came forward, sought help and, fortunately, we were there to help them.

Our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL) Program is steadily growing. Many of the students are highly educated, trained professionals from foreign countries who simply lack proficiency in English. Others are people who are illiterate in their primary language. Both groups share the same objective – to speak, read and write in English.

We also support adults who have missed key areas of their education. For example, parents who would like to read with their young children, professionals who are working for low pay and would like to apply for better jobs, those hoping to obtain their high school equivalency degree, a concerned mother who would like to be able to read school notices, and many others who simply need extra help.

Enduring Friendship for Tutor and Student

by Vanessa R. Carbonell, Literacy Council Intern from Cape Cod Academy

“Iris Jesus has learned English at an incredible rate,” says her tutor Richard Spencer of Eastham. Iris, a twenty year old native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has been enrolled in the Cape Cod Literacy program since September of last year.

Iris and her tutor meet weekly at the Eastham Public Library. At each session Iris brings a five hundred word essay which she edits with her tutor.

In addition, Iris reads aloud from selections written by Robert Fulgham and Jack Prelutsky. She also stretches her mind by trying to solve problems in the creative thinking game – Tangoes.

Recently, Spencer and his wife, Judy, took Iris to Boston for the day. They toured historical sites, walked through the Quincy Marketplace, and made purchases at the Farmers’ Market. They enjoyed a delicious lunch at an Italian restaurant in the North End.

In February, Ms. Jesus returned to Brazil where she is planning to go to school to become a stewardess for a major airline. The friendship between the Spencers and Iris is sure to endure.

Citizenship Stories

Literacy Council Students

Literacy Council Students Receive Citizenship
Carolyn Barnes (volunteer), Ulisseys (student), Marie (student)

A proud Maria and Ulisses complete their citizenship interview and test…..

Maria described her experience this way. “First, he asked me to pledge the truth. Next, he asked six questions about United States democracy. For example, ‘Who wrote the Declaration Of Independence?’ and ‘What is the political party of the United States President?’ My interview was thirty minutes long. When I left the room my husband asked, ‘Are you done?’ I said ‘Yes, I’m finished!’ He said, ‘Congratulations honey!’”
Ulisses described his experience. “My interview was by a Japanese person. He said to me ‘There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them’. Before I knew it they said ‘Congratulations! You have passed.’ I smiled and left the room and drove to Cape Cod very happy.”