Recently, we heard from one of our students about how the Literacy Council has helped him. He came to us in December 2008 after moving to the United States from Colombia. This is the Andres literacy success story.

He knew he needed to learn English, so he went to the library in Bonita Springs. The librarian told Andres about the Literacy Council. Andres first met with his new tutor in January 2009. He didn’t know much vocabulary, so it was very difficult for him to have a conversation. Andres brought his guitar and played for his tutor. They talked about what he liked to read, and the tutor gave him vocabulary lists from Harry Potter books.

They then would study from the assigned book. Andres said the tutor also worked on vocabulary by using one letter of the alphabet at each class. She had lists of words that started with the letter for class. Andres and his tutor tried to meet once a week, often after he has worked all day. Andres said the old building was often busy and they found other places to meet and study. He also went to classes with Bob at the Council.  In June 2009 Andres’s mother and brother came to the United States. When the new building was finished, Andres and his brother were asked to play at the Grand Opening.

Andres’s tutor left every summer, but they kept in touch through email to continue working on his English. In 2011, Andres gained a work permit and a full time job. His tutor worked with him on his resume and helped him prepare for the interview. Andres’s brother is now a senior in high school. He plays in the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Barron Collier Wind Ensemble, which was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in March 2013.

Andres is still taking classes with his tutor every week, as well as at Barron Collier High School. When he is asked how he feels about his English now, Andres says he expects perfection and to go to college.