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Spring 2015

In Their Own Words

"I am now able to help my seven-year-old daughter with her homework."  
-  Sonia

Each spring, our students contribute articles and essays to our annual student newsletter, Express Your Ideas.
To see a sampling of this year's newsletter articles, click here!

Tutor Milestone

This year, we celebrate ESOL tutor Lois Davis-James for her 10 years of volunteer service with LVGH!   We recently sat down with Lois to learn more about her journey as a lifelong educator. 

Lois originally hails from Mississippi, but moved to Connecticut more than 35 years ago.  She taught high school English in Hartford for 37 years, but, as one of her former students once told her, Lois is a "teaching junkie."  As soon as she retired, she signed up to tutor with LVGH!   Here's what Lois had to say about her dedication to teaching and her experience as a volunteer tutor:

LVGH: What is it about tutoring that has kept you coming back for 10 years?
Lois Davis-James: Around the time I started tutoring, I ran into a former [high school] student of mine, and when I told him what I was up to, he laughed and said, "You're a teaching junkie."  That's really true!  Teaching is my life's purpose.  It's very gratifying to add to my students' knowledge.  And there's not a class that goes by without a student saying, "Thank you, teacher."
LVGH: How is tutoring adults at LVGH different than teaching high school students?
LDJ: In both cases, I have been lucky to always have students who were committed to learning.  But here at LVGH, I feel free.  There are very few restrictions - I can go at the pace that works for my students.  We can keep reviewing until they've learned it.  I can focus on teaching!
LVGH: Has tutoring here changed over the past 10 years?
LDJ:  A little, but the needs of the students stay the same.  I would say the biggest change is that I use more supplemental material with my classes now, instead of only using the textbooks.  You really need to do that to ensure that all students are challenged, because the skills can vary so much within a class.
LVGH: Besides tutoring, what else do you like to do in your spare time? 
LDJ: I'm very involved in my church - I'm always helping out with something there.  I also love to sing, and participate in local choir groups.

LVGH: What have you learned from your tutoring experience?
LDJ: I've learned that raising the bar is good - the students will rise to the challenges you give them.  I've learned to trust that over time, if you follow the lessons, sooner or later the students will improve.  Their determination is so inspiring.

Thank you, Lois, for your ten years of service to LVGH and your students!  We're lucky to have you!

(Re-)Introducing Kristen!

We are excited to announce that as of July 1, Kristen Lapenta will be transitioning to a full-time role as our new Digital Literacy & Communications Coordinator.

Tutors and students in East Hartford already know Kristen as their morning Program Assistant, a role she will continue next year while taking on new responsibilities coordinating our digital literacy programs and supporting communications and development work.  Kristen has been a wonderful addition to the Wickham center, and we're thrilled to have her on board full-time.

Summer Class Schedule Expanded

Students asked for more summer classes, and we listened!  We're happy to report that morning and evening classes will be available in Hartford, with morning classes available in East Hartford.  Our summer session begins on June 22 - click here to see the complete schedule, and please share with anyone who may be interested!

Volunteer with LVGH!

Our next Tutor Training Workshops will be held this September, making the summer a great time to sign up!  Learn more about our volunteer opportunities and submit your application at
Coming Soon!
Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception
June 11th, 5:30-7:30pm
Mark Twain House, Hartford

All those who volunteered during the past school year are welcome to attend!  
Thanks to the support of our community, our 6th Annual Read. Learn. Grow. Gala was a success, raising almost $45,000 for our adult literacy programs!  More
Our Hartford Literacy Center is getting a facelift!  Thanks to the hard work and elbow grease of several groups of volunteers, most of our center has now received a fresh coat of paint.  But we need your help to finish the rest!  Interested in lending a hand?  Please contact Miriam at 860-233-3853 or  
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