“Kathy” called our office about her husband, an English-speaking student who never learned to read or write. This is the beginning of one of our literacy success stories. 

After about 18 months of tutoring, he was able to give his family a special gift. At Christmas, he wrote a letter to his mother and read it aloud to her at a family party. This was the first time his mother had ever heard him read, and she said it was the best present she had ever received.

“Manuel” told us that he came to learn English so he could find a better job. After receiving tutoring for 12 months, he was able to start his own business. He reports that his new English skills have also helped his family to communicate better with their doctors.

Born in the United States, “Sharon” is in her early 60’s and came to us recently to learn to read. She has struggled with reading all her life. Too ashamed to seek help, she eventually changed her mind. What prompted her to come to us? Well, Sharon has a Labrador Retriever, and a friend gave her a book about these dogs. She really wants to read it.

“Angela” wrote to thank us recently, because her husband, who has been taking regular English-as-a-Second Language classes in Lehigh Acres, now understands their children when they have homework questions. He feels confident about helping others when they ask him for assistance.

One of my ESL students enthusiastically announced one morning that over the weekend she had been “exercising the bears!” I asked her to repeat, but she said the same thing. I explained slowly what she actually had said, and she laughed so hard that tears were streaming down her face. She wanted to tell me that she had been “practicing the verbs.” The letters B and V in Spanish sound alike, and she had not pronounced the last B in verbs, so it came out bears. She will always remember the difference between exercising and practicing. We still laugh about this in class.

Another ESL student has completed her BS in Business Management at Hodges University, and will submit her application to Lee County Health Systems.

And another ESL student is very pleased with a recent shopping experience when she asked for help finding specific things in stores. She has overcome her fear of speaking English, and clerks have given her respectful help.