News for You Grant Helps Literacy Students Learn Online

ESL Class

Press Release of September 2, 2020

In March of 2020, the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) was awarded a Mobile Learning Fund Grant from ProLiteracy. The grant provided a free subscription to News for You Online, a weekly newspaper with topical articles and literacy lessons that can be accessed online.

DCLC Instructor James Stein poses with some of his ESL students before the pandemic. When DCLC classes moved online this March, James and other DCLC instructors were able to use News for You Online, which was provided through a ProLiteracy Mobile Learning Fund Grant to the Literacy Council.

The timing of the grant turned out to be extra-helpful, given that DCLC interrupted all in-person learning on March 13, 2020, in accordance with Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home orders to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since March 13, DCLC Teachers have been holding their classes in basic literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), and GED preparation online. DCLC’s volunteer tutors have also been reaching out to their adult students via online video platforms, video chats, and by telephone. News for You Online has come in handy during this shift in instruction.

According to ESL Teacher James Stein, News for You Online is “easy to use during online classes since I can screen-share it and make use of the online features, such as the interactive article exercises. Sometimes I assign homework based on the Teacher’s Guide or we use it as a basis for class discussion. I like that there have been several articles related to COVID-19, which is on everyone’s minds. Reading them gives students a chance to share their concerns as well as learn some new information about it.”

Volunteer Tutor Peter Matthews used News for You Online with the two students he tutors in basic literacy. He describes a recent online session: “We spent a little more than an hour on two articles, reading them aloud and doing the exercises together.”

DCLC’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jenn Kacimi sees great value in the free online resource, explaining, “This has really been helpful to our teachers and tutors, especially with the move to online instruction.”

The Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills so that these adults can thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

Literacy Student Wins Essay Contest; Celebrates Virtually

Ann Dziuba Accepts Award

Press Release of July 8, 2020

Anna Dziuba, essay winner
DCLC student Anna Dziuba of Media won $200 in Sun East Federal Credit Union’s “People Helping People” essay contest. Anna (short for her given name, Ganna) wrote an essay describing how she volunteered to help homeless children in Ukraine. Here Anna poses with her winning certificate.

“Nowadays good news is like a treasure!” exclaimed Anna Dziuba when she learned she had won $200 for her essay on helping homeless children in Ukraine.

The announcement came via an online Zoom call with her English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC), Robert Lee. Like so many students, Anna has been adapting to online learning after her DCLC intermediate ESL class moved from in-person to virtual classes this spring.

Anna was one of several DCLC students who participated in the “People Helping People” contest, sponsored by Sun East Federal Credit Union. The contest asks students to write about volunteering and its impact on their life. Sun East Federal Credit Union provides a generous $200 prize to the writer of the winning essay.

Anna wrote about her involvement in a program in Ukraine called “To Help is so Easy.” As Anna explains in her essay, “Brave and enthusiastic people were looking for kids on streets; [they] spent weeks to build a trust and convince kids to make a first step to a new life.” Anna has remained involved in the program, even after leaving Ukraine and immigrating to the U.S. She is quick to highlight the importance of volunteering, saying it is an “important piece of my life and helped change my life values.” As she states in her essay, “Each effort counts. Share your kindness, anyone deserves a second chance for a better life.”

The Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills to thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.

Congresswoman Scanlon Visits Literacy Classrooms

Mary Gay Scanlon and literacy students

Press Release of January 23, 2020

Literacy Students ask questions of U.S. Congress Member Mary Gay Scanlon.
Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon hears about students’ goals and answers questions about the role of a Congress member during a recent visit to an ESL classroom at the Delaware County Literacy Council.

Adult students from the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) received a firsthand lesson in civics when U.S. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon visited their classes this week.

Scanlon visited three English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and one GED® preparation class, talking with students about their goals and answering questions about her role representing the Fifth Congressional District in Pennsylvania.

In a GED® preparation class, Scanlon listened to adults as they shared what they hoped to do once they earned their GED®, such as become a social worker, start a business, or enroll in college.

She congratulated the students for their efforts, saying, “You’re here. You’re taking steps to reach your goals.”

In an intermediate ESL class, Scanlon was asked about her history of helping immigrants.

Scanlon mentioned that before being elected, she spent 15 years helping immigrants with legal concerns. She cited immigration issues as “one of the reasons I ran for office.”

Scanlon also answered questions about her role as a Congress member, saying “My job is to represent the people, the 715,000 people who live in the district.”

In her remarks to students, Scanlon emphasized the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census, which launches on April 1st. “We’re working really hard to make sure everybody fills out the census, which counts citizens, noncitizens, and children, because so much of our public funding goes through the census,” she explained.

In addition to classroom visits, Scanlon also learned about DCLC’s programs and funding streams from Kate McGeever, Executive Director of DCLC. DCLC’s classes and employment services for local adults are funded by the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

Scanlon’s classroom visits generated lots of excitement and discussion about the functions of government among DCLC’s adult students.

“I enjoyed seeing her. She is a strong woman who is working hard for us,” said Olga Popova of Aston, an ESL student who is originally from Russia.

The Delaware County Literacy Council helps adults develop reading, writing, math, and English language skills to thrive in the workplace and community. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.delcoliteracy.org.