McKINLEY PARK — Those looking to give back this holiday season should consider volunteering to teach English to immigrant populations at a literacy center's brand new facility in the neighborhood.
Aquinas Literacy Center moved this summer into a new facility at 1751 W. 35th St. after spending two decades in a nearby church basement. The move places the center more prominently in McKinley Park and will allow it to service more students. Now it needs the volunteers to fulfill that mission, according to Sabrina Poulin, volunteer coordinator for Aquinas.
That's because the center teaches English in a one-on-one setting, and volunteers staff much of the operation, Poulin said. Currently, there are more than 40 prospective learners waiting for volunteers, the center said.
"Without volunteers, we wouldn't be able to keep our doors open," she said. "All our tutors are volunteers and we have many non-tutoring volunteers that help us with clerical projects, teach supplemental classes, help students on the computer and are our front-desk greeters."
Volunteers will need to commit two hours per week, including 1½ hours of instruction and 30 minutes of preparation, the center said. Knowledge of a second language is not required, since all instruction is in English.
Those interested in helping should go to the center's two training workshops being held from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 1 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 2. To learn more about volunteering opportunities, call 773-927-0512.