“Each class has a variety of students from all over the world who have different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs,” says Brown. “Though each class has such a diverse group of people, the unifying factor is students’ motivation to learn English. St. John’s has been a melting pot and it’s a joy to see students learn and grow together in their knowledge of English and integrate into the community.”
The St. John’s goal is to help students transition into American life, a career, and/or college. To encourage that, the school brings in guest speakers to talk to students about life in the U.S. The police department comes in frequently to give safety lectures and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services officers come in to discuss the immigration process. Twice a year, students celebrate the end of the term with food and dancing from their own cultural backgrounds.
The school is managed by Miami Valley Career Technology Center’s Adult Education and is funded by grants through Ohio ASPIRE. Other sites are located in Huber Heights, Fairborn, Dayton, Kettering and West Carrollton. Class times include mornings, afternoons and evenings.
“In the past, when our program has been featured in this column, our program received several donations and even some volunteer teachers,” says Brown. “With over 350 students this past year, we have been very grateful for every donation as each student receives basic supplies as they begin classes. Thank you for your part in helping our program.”
Here’s what they can use:
• Homemade face masks
• Two-pocket folders
• Dry-erase markers
• Microfiber towels
• Spiral notebooks
Drop-offs can be made from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays at St. John’s UCC, 515 E. Third St. Please call first to be certain someone is there to receive them. Contact program coordinator Leah Brown at (937) 461-3332 or email@example.com.
Other ways to help
Brown says the biggest need for the program is volunteer teachers. Volunteers are not limited to teaching, but can be a conversation partner, computer instructor, or one-on-one tutor. “Volunteers do not need to be certified to teach ESOL as the staff will help train and prepare them,” says Brown.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about nonprofit organizations in our area and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: MMoss@coxohio.com
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.