This week the Illinois State Library spotlights the Albany Park Community Center in Chicago.
This student knew very little English when she moved to the U.S. from Thailand. For Thai immigrants, there are cultural stigmas associated with learning, so this student did not immediately look for help. She managed to obtain a job that did not require her to speak English. Eventually, she realized she needed to learn the language so she would be able to speak to her children’s teachers.
The woman decided to obtain help with reading, writing and speaking English from Albany Park Community Center. Volunteer tutors began working with her on her English. After a lot of hard work, she now communicates with her children’s teachers, reads materials her children bring home from school, and talks confidently with her children who speak English very well.
This student started using her new skills to write and discovered she enjoys writing short stories. She plans to continue learning and hopes to obtain a job in the medical field.