Newsletter 2020-05 LL


Poughkeepsie / Hyde Park Coordinator

When I was a kid, anytime you weren’t in the mood to talk on the telephone with anyone, you took the phone off the cradle and put it on hold.  That’s what life feels like right now – a dial tone, a half-caught breath, a non-defined pause.  I’d love to tell everyone that I learned Spanish, painted a masterpiece and made sourdough bread, but in reality I got caught up on laundry, figured out how to create a useful space for work and did a lot of little outstanding tasks like sewing and filing.  I am eager to get back to work but suspect things will look slightly different from here on out.

During this time there were several victories, however!  Not all is grim.  Last Summer’s Marist College Tarver Intern, Louis Higuera, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and will be traveling to Lithuania in 2021 for an English Teaching Assistantship.  He is very excited and expressed his gratitude to Literacy Connections for the relevant experience and insight.  He also said his time with us was too short!  I agree and look forward to what he does next!!

Several years ago I was contacted by a young man named Paul.  He wanted to become a tutor and he wanted a class.  He was very direct and clear and I really loved that!!  He became the Monday Night Project Forward Tutor for the Intermediate class, which has some of our students with the most hours.  These are students that have mastered the basics but now they want to go farther.  Paul was a great teacher but alas, he was only with us for a brief time as he had joined the Peace Corps and would be leaving for Africa.  Cut to almost two years later and I get an email from him!  The Coronavirus has cut short his time and he is back, eager to get back to teaching.  He has been matched with J., an au pair from Mexico who is living and working with a family in the Hudson Valley.  She will need to take her TOEFL when she gets back so she is already hard at work with Paul on that!!

Volunteer Carol R. has not let the Coronavirus slow her down!  She is Zooming with most of her Tuesday night students, helping them with their goals, English and giving them something positive to work on during this very scary time and also providing a framework so that they, along with the rest of the world, can build some sort of schedule.