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?
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.
When Maria came to Cape Cod, she could only speak a few phrases in English.
Most people were kind, but when she got a job cleaning houses, one of her first clients yelled at her “What are you doing in Massachusetts if you can’t speak English!” Another refused to pay her hourly fee, saying it was too high, even though he had originally agreed to pay it. Maria could not speak up to defend herself in either case and fled in tears.
But then a friend told her about the Cape Cod Literacy Council, and her life changed.
After two years attending English classes staffed by Literacy Council tutors, and working with a one-to-one tutor from the Council, Maria has gained confidence and skill reading, writing and conversing in English. She is now empowered to speak up for herself and is helping others in the community attend English classes to obtain better jobs.
Maria is one of hundreds of lives changed — thanks to your helping the Cape Cod Literacy Council. With your generous donations, adults wanting to learn English receive the classroom instruction, the tutoring and the resources to learn to read, write and converse.
How many voting members are in the House of Representatives? You may not know the answer to this question but Estela Maria Quinones does. (There are 435.) This is just one of the 100 civic questions, Ms. Quinones needed to study to pass the U.S. Civics section of the exam to become a United States citizen.
Ms. Quinones, a native of the Dominican Republic, immigrated to the United States six years ago. One of her personal goals was to become a United States citizen. After much hard work and determination, she passed her exam and on December 9, 2014 she took the oath of United States Citizenship at the statehouse in Boston!
Ms. Quinones is continuing to work with her volunteers in the ESOL III Class at the Adult Education Center of Cape Cod Community College. She is working on improving her English language skills so she can better utilize her Business Administration degree which she earned in the Dominican Republic. With the guidance of her dedicated teacher and her Cape Cod Literacy Council volunteer, she is bound to reach this goal. Congratulations, Ms. Quinones! The staff and your fellow students of the Cape Cod Literacy Program are very proud of your achievement!
Flerissin Larisma is “Getting it done!”
Five years ago, Mr. Flerissin Larisma left his native Haiti, and immigrated to Massachusetts. He arrived with his family and a desire to continue his education. This desire led him to the Cape Cod Literacy Council for tutoring and to the ESOL Program at the Adult Education Center (AEC) of Cape Community College where literacy council volunteers and teachers helped him improve his English.
Ms. Karen Zappula, his instructor, taught a unit on renewable energy that she had studied through The ABE Clean Energy Ambassadors Project. This 5 week unit captured Mr. Larisma’s interest and through hard work was able to enroll in the Cape Cod Community College transitions program (PACT) and then directly into the Environmental Technology program.
Mr. Larisma’s four children are very proud of their father because their Daddy is going school and they can now ask him for help with their own schoolwork. Mr. Larisma is grateful to the AEC program, counselor, instructors, and volunteers for their support and encouragement. Due to the Flerissin’s determination and the guidance from Cape Cod Literacy Council, the ESOL AEC adult education program and the college transitions program (PACT) he was able to pursue his dream of attending college. As Mr. Larisma remarked, these programs have helped him “Get it done”.
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.
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.”