Volunteer Voice

At Franklin Learning Center in Minneapolis, Thursday afternoons are brightened by the enthusiasm of Mary Drew. Her genuine interest in the students she’s tutored over the past year and a half instills confidence in them. Mary is a retired teacher who heard about adult literacy work through the Hennepin County Library. Having experience travelling abroad and a love for new knowledge of cultures, it was Franklin Learning Center (FLC) that was the right fit for her.

Summer Snapshot #2, 7 Years on Lake Street, is the second in a three-part series written by Minnesota Literacy Council volunteer Henry Hietala.

“The students at Katie’s table are always heard laughing—even when the content isn’t all that exciting,” according to her volunteer coordinator Kara Rotramel. This fall, Katie McAvoy celebrates 10 years as an adult literacy volunteer at Forest Lake Adult Basic Education. What has kept her coming back year after year? Read Katie's story.

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.



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