Volunteer Voice

For our third annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, we collected thank you notes from Open Door Learning Center students and created a board to display their words. We wanted to be sure to share these words of gratitude with volunteers who could not make the picnic.

“It’s learning for my heart.” This is how LaRue Unglaube describes her experience as a math tutor at English Learning Center in Minneapolis. LaRue’s philosophy is reflected in her creative, encouraging and patient ways as a teacher.  


Summer Snapshot #1, A VISTA at Park Avenue, is the first in a three-part series written by Minnesota Literacy Council volunteer Henry Hietala.

Dick Anderson brings levity to the Adult ESL classrooms at Vietnamese Social Services. When asked to describe himself in three words, he responds with “aging, hipster, doofus”. But students and staff at Vietnamese Social Services might describe him this way: “attentive, dedicated and appreciated.”


Journeys season is underway, and we received over 600 submissions from adult literacy programs all over the state! Our dedicated intern team is editing and designing the book. Thanks, teachers and coordinators, for helping learners write and prepare their submissions.

The number of authors in the printed Journeys 2016 has increased in the last several years. In 2014 and 2015 we included over 400 authors. In this year's edition we have 600 authors!


Susan began volunteering with literacy eight years ago after reading about it in a Minneapolis Community Education catalog. Since that time, she has supported students of varying ages and abilities as they improve their math skills and reach their educational goals.


Julie Johnson is a Lead Computer Skills Tutor at Open Door Learning Center - Midway, located inside the Ramsey County WorkForce Center in St. Paul, where she’s been volunteering for two years. With a background in Software Engineering and years of experience working in corporate IT, she shares her knowledge and skills with the community. For two days a week, she assists adult learners, many of whom are unemployed, gain skills to apply for jobs online, send and receive email, safely search the Internet, and learn Microsoft Office products.

Phyllis Klapwyk volunteers three days a week with English (ESL) classes at the West ABE (Adult Basic Education) program in Big Lake, Minnesota. She also tutors students who are preparing to pass the GED math test. We asked her how she got involved and why she volunteers. Here’s her story:


Evelyn Browne began volunteering at the International Education Center (IEC) when she moved to Minneapolis several years ago. She teaches English Conversation twice a week for an hour over lunch, a time when students learn about each other’s and U.S.

Mohamed Mohamed has been volunteering at Open Door Learning Center- Lake St. for quite some time. 1,212 hours to be exact. That is equal to 50.5 days of around the clock volunteering. Mohamed was originally a student at Open Door- Lake St. but gradually started volunteering while he attended class. After enrolling in college, Mohamed wanted to stay connected to Open Door so he began volunteering in the College and Career Preparation class.



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