Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tutoring in Vermont

I've been tutoring English for the past 9 months with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. This is a picture of me and my tutee. I've had such a fun time working with her. She was so sweet, for our last meeting, she gave me this African outfit as a going away present. I highly recommend volunteering with VRRP. They have many volunteer opportunities. They are always looking for English teachers. You don't need any experience, just patience. A lot of the refugees are new to the country and have no English skills whatsoever. Others are even pre-literate, meaning they are not literate in their own, native language. The woman that I worked with was college educated in the Congo. She has also been living in the US for several years now, and her English is at a fairly high level.

VRRP has other volunteer opportunities as well. You can host newly arrived families and help them adjust to Vermont and the US. I imagine that this must be very stressful, but extremely rewarding as well. Many of the families that arrive have been living in refugee camps for a number of years and are not accustomed to all our modern conveniences. Like stoves and things. Often, host families will continue to assist the newly arrived family for a while, until they are settled in their new life.

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