The Richardson Adult Literacy Center (RALC) held its second annual Volunteer-Student Appreciation Luncheon in December. The event, attended by more than 70 volunteers and students, was an international potluck with more than 15 countries represented by both students and tutors.
The Richardson Adult Literacy Center transforms lives by providing free English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction to adults from other countries who live or work in Richardson or Richardson ISD area.
"The Volunteer-Student Appreciation Luncheon has become one of my favorite events," said Katie Patterson, RALC's executive director. "It's an opportunity for us to express our gratitude to volunteers who give so much of themselves and to students who work so hard to learn English and improve their lives."
One of the programs sponsored by RALC is are the six different levels of English instruction, an intensive 15-week program. Students and tutors were recognized at the celebration.
"A key element that made this new format a success were the nine volunteer tutors who gave so much of their time and energy to this four hour/week program," said Katie Patterson. Volunteer tutors for the program were Evon Saleh (Intro), Gil Tryhall (Level 1), Lois Weatherly (Level 2), Brian Dungan (Level 2), Zora Washburn (Level 2), Matt Bedosky (Level 3), Carter Tinsley (Level 4), Jackie Wald (Level 4) and Joseph Renato (Level 5). Classrooms provided by Richardson High School were also key to the success of the program.
"The evening program has expanded our offerings, as adults are able to complete a proficiency level in a semester instead of a year, as had previously been the only option," shared Marcia Barkis, RALC's program coordinator. "There seems to be a great deal of interest in this format."
As part of the RALC Appreciation Luncheon, Katie Patterson read a poem that she felt spoke to both volunteer tutors and students:
My (teacher/student(s)) of many years ago still influences me today,
The things that ((s)he/they) instilled in me have never gone away.
In fact, they are a part of every fiber of my being,
The blood that courses through me and the eyes through which I’m seeing,
The words that I am speaking, the decisions that I’m making,
The things that I’ve accomplished and the ones I’m undertaking.
For once someone influences you, they live inside your heart.
And so of all I am today, my (teacher/student(s)) (is/are) a part.
Katie ended by saying, "I hope that your experience with volunteering, teaching or learning English through RALC continues to influence you as you move forward in life. Regardless of where you were born or what language you first spoke, here in Richardson we have come together to make life better and more rewarding for ourselves and our community."
Looking for a way to make a tax-deductible donation to a local non-profit before the end of the year? If so, please consider the Richardson Adult Literacy Center.
With the growth in the number of adult English language learners we're helping, additional funds allow us to continue to support these learners while further expanding our programs and spots available for English instruction.
RALC offers two types of programs:
- English as a second language--(ESL) instruction to adults who live or work in Richardson or the Richardson Independent School District area.
- Family literacy--Teddy Bear Time is RALC's family literacy program, which brings parents and their young children together in a fun, educational setting to model read-alouds and other interactive parent/child educational activities.
Year-end donations can be made with a credit card via PayPal on our website's " Support" page or via check mailed to:
Richardson Adult Literacy Center
P.O. Box 835936
Richardson, TX 75083
We will promptly provide you an acknowledgement receipt for your tax-deductible donation.
"There is such a great need in our community for adult English as a Second Language instruction. While we've grown the number of students we serve from 130 to more than 500, there are more than 10,000 Richardson residents who don't speak English well," shared Katie Patterson. "Financial donations allow us to continue helping this larger number of students while also expanding our program offerings and service to others in our community."
RALC will be registering students for the spring semester during its ESL Sign-Up Days on January 15 and 17. The spring semester starts January 29.
Find out more about the Richardson Adult Literacy Center at www.ralc.org.