Javier came to the U.S. from Mexico with his wife and infant son to work hard for a better life. His family soon grew to include three children. As his children became school age, Javier began struggling to communicate with their teachers and healthcare providers because of his lack of English-language skills—a struggle that affected not only Javier, but his family.
Not content to stay within these frustrating limitations, Javier sought out a Literacy DuPage volunteer tutor for assistance.
“I want to show my kids how important education is by making it important to me,” Javier said. “I want to learn everything I can.”
Once a week, Javier spends two hours with Barb Langfeld, a retired educator and Literacy DuPage tutor. The pair started with the basics by using the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, which focuses on speaking English and learning basic survival skills.
Eager student makes fast progress
“Although Javier was at a beginning level, he was so enthusiastic,” said Barb. “He worked extremely hard and was eager to progress.”
Barb knew Javier would do well in the ESL program. She was right. In just four months, he graduated—finishing the program as a much more confident communicator in English.
“What I love about Javier is he keeps pushing himself,” said Barb.
While Javier can now read sentences fluently, he is even more excited about how his learning strengthens his bond with his children.
So many triumphs to celebrate
Javier’s story is one of many. In 2017, he was one of 490 learners helped by 379 Literacy DuPage literacy tutors who help adults break through language barriers. In all, our learners spent the year acquiring almost 4,300 valuable life skills—changes that often improve the economic well-being of entire families while strengthening their connection to the community.
What could be better than that?
We could do more! And you could be part of the story.
In DuPage County, more than 100,000 residents need help increasing their English skills. Literacy DuPage wants to match every one of them with a tutor. Contact Literacy DuPage to learn how you can help.