Help Dominican Literacy Center with 'Sponsor-a-Student' fundraiser

  • Montgomery resident Mary Ann Wagner, right, tutors Lucia Suarez of Aurora at the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora. Wagner is among volunteer tutors featured in a spring issue of "Literacy Illinois." Sr. Kathleen Ryan said "In her more than 13 years as a tutor at the Dominican Literacy Center, Mary Ann Wagner has helped more than 30 women learn to read, write and speak English. Her students love her warmth and her dedication, and they benefit greatly from her tutoring experience and her background in education."

    Montgomery resident Mary Ann Wagner, right, tutors Lucia Suarez of Aurora at the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora. Wagner is among volunteer tutors featured in a spring issue of "Literacy Illinois." Sr. Kathleen Ryan said "In her more than 13 years as a tutor at the Dominican Literacy Center, Mary Ann Wagner has helped more than 30 women learn to read, write and speak English. Her students love her warmth and her dedication, and they benefit greatly from her tutoring experience and her background in education." Courtesy of Dominican Literacy Center

 
 
Updated 7/30/2021 1:21 PM

Sponsor a woman to learn English.

That's the invitation from Dominican Sister Kathleen M. Ryan, founder and administrator of the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora.

 

Sr. Ryan said the center's annual Sponsor-a-Student fundraiser is under way. She said, "We invite the public to provide learning materials for our students by contributing to the program."

Two levels -- $100 and $1,000 -- are suggested.

Each $100 donation, combined with a student $25 material fee, generates $125 that will provide a student text, workbook and planning manual for a year of weekly, one-on-one 90-minute tutoring sessions by trained women volunteers.

A $1,000 donation will fund a laptop computer loaded with materials for tutoring-room instruction. Laptops include pronunciation practice and listening activities, National Geographic Magazine videos and other audio/video-based materials.

Sr. Ryan said, "We are deeply grateful for gifts to the Sponsor-a-Student campaign. Consider your donation an investment in the future of our country. Donations yield a human dividend of literate, informed women and mothers in our neighborhoods, communities and the world."

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Checks should be sent to the Dominican Literacy Center, 260 Vermont Ave. in Aurora, IL 60505-3100.

The administrator added that the materials support "Stand Out," a new curriculum debuting this fall. The curriculum focuses on teaching English through organizational and listening skills, predicting outcomes and topics ranging from work to healthy living and personal information. Returning tutors completed online and in-person training on Stand Out in June.

According to Sr. Ryan, DLC classes reopen Thursday, Sept. 9, after a summer hiatus.

Training for new tutors is set for 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 17, 19 and 24 at the center. Call (630) 898-4636 or visit dominicanliteracycenter.org for more information.

Founded in 1993 by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, the Dominican Literacy Center, 260 Vermont Ave. in Aurora, organizes female volunteer tutors to deliver free English classes to more than 150 immigrant women annually. Additionally, free citizenship classes are offered to both men and women.

Sister Ryan said the nonprofit's mission is to enable immigrant families to participate in their communities by learning to read, write and speak English. The center has grown from five students and five teachers to 150 tutors serving 150 students from 16 countries annually.

The center has served more than 2,000 Aurora-area residents since its founding. A separate evening program schools women and men to prepare for the U.S. citizenship test.