Meet Grant Stabenow, April's Literacy Leader
April 12, 2017
“I enjoy life.” That’s the philosophy of this month’s Literacy Leader, Grant Stabenow.
Grant has been a literacy volunteer for 15 years, spending much of that time between Lao Family Community of Minnesota and Hmong American Partnership (HAP). Currently, Grant teaches beginning and advanced courses every Monday and Thursday at HAP. When we asked HAP’s Adult Basic Education Coordinator, Andrea Gerhart, to choose a stellar volunteer, she immediately thought of Grant, sharing, “he gives so much of his time, energy and resources. He really goes out of his way to serve our students well in so many different capacities!”
Cultivating a classroom atmosphere that’s engaging and inclusive is important to Grant, and it shows in his teaching style. To prepare for lessons, Grant gets additional support and guidance from his wife, who is also a volunteer and teacher. They discuss lesson plans and exchange ideas before and after every volunteer session. Every class period, he comes in early to provide time for open conversation with students, and to consult with teachers. Developing a curriculum that’s engaging for students is important to educators, as well. Grant shares his secret to achieving this, “I try to incorporate activities that get students moving and involved in learning.”
There isn’t much that can keep Grant from his volunteer work. Even when he was in the hospital for surgery a few years ago, Grant could not wait to get back into the classroom. “My best volunteer moment was when I was hospitalized several years ago and I received a sheaf of get-well cards and drawings from my students.” Those well-wishes were just what Grant needed to make a remarkably speedy recovery. “I bounded out of the hospital and three days after surgery was back to teaching.”
The greatest teachers never stop learning, and this attitude comes naturally to Grant. “I keep coming back because these guys are eager to learn, fun to work with, and they teach me as much as I teach them.” The dedication that Grant brings to his volunteer work is a value to his program, students and community. We can see why he enjoys life so much.
Thank you, Grant, for dedicating 15 years to volunteering with literacy!