WBZ Cares: First Literacy Training

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling First Literacy in Boston, ensuring adults with low-literacy or limited English proficiency have high-quality educational opportunities that enable them to thrive.

One of the missions of First Literacy is to train teachers on how they can better teach English language skills. Danielle Mendola is among those instructors who have benefited from First Literacy's training.

“So by helping an adult learner learn English, learn a new language, it’s an amazing experience. They’re so dedicated and they have so many dreams and so many potentials, so when you see them making progress there’s nothing like it because you actually see the doors opening, you see them getting jobs, you see them being able to talk to their children’s teachers, doing things that they wouldn’t have been able to. So to be part of that, be part of that community and with somebody that is so motivated, there’s nothing like it,” said Mendola.

Kelly Folson is another English language instructor. He talks about how important the classes he teaches are to his students.

“In some ways our classes are really valuable to them because they give them kind of a sense of community and meeting other people that have been through those same experiences that they have and they can draw from those. And especially the reading class that I teach exposes them to other stories about people who have also struggled and succeeded and so it can be really inspiring and powerful,” Folson said.

And Mendola says she gets a lot of satisfaction from teaching others English.

“The adult learners that we have come with so many gifts and potentials but the thing that’s coming in between what they want to be and who they are now is this barrier of the English language, so by focusing on teaching them English you’re actually opening a door for them that they can walk through and utilize what they have and contribute to this community. So by focusing in on this thing that they need to conquer, English language, I’m able to help them move forward,” Mendola concluded.

WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports

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