Volunteer profile: Janet Stein
I have been volunteering as a tutor in the Oakton Community College VITA program for a number of weeks and have been enjoying every minute of it. My goal in volunteering was to give back to my community in a small way. Instead, I've been surprised at how much I have personally benefited. I have been inspired by the students' dedication and efforts to improve their reading and writing. This week, they designed and wrote clever slogans for t-shirts along with a story about the shirt. Some of the slogans were so good that they could be used by any advertising agency.
Clearly, the literacy teacher knows how to plan fun yet educational lessons for the students. I had been concerned that I wasn't doing enough to help her, but she always reassures me - even the time when the book was missing pages.
The best part is helping a student as he/she reads a passage to me. I hope their learning to read will open new worlds for them like it has for me.
Janet is an Evanston resident currently teaching ESL with the VITA program through Oakton Community College. She holds a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and after having been away from the classroom for a number of years, Janet decided to volunteer with Uniting America earlier this year. Furthermore, the other tutors inspire me with their enthusiasm and dedication.