Students and teachers at the Center for New Americans rely on the help and support of classroom volunteers. When our classes went online last spring, we had to find innovative ways to bring the volunteers back into the classroom. Volunteers that were used to the traditional classroom have now become efficient and comfortable with the virtual online classroom.
This is the second in a series of three interviews. Stayed tuned in the coming weeks to hear more about volunteering via Zoom.
This week I talked with Volunteer Jeaneite. She has been a volunteer since 2017.
First, how did you hear about the Center for New Americans?
I heard about CNA one Sunday in church in Vermillion. I recently retired from working in education and was looking for a volunteer opportunity. The Center for New Americans seemed like a good fit.
Why did you want to get involved?
I wanted to get involved to make a positive difference for other people. I worked with ESL students for many years and understood the value of this program.
What are some of your favorite memories from working with a student/in class?
My favorite memories always involve the look on someone’s face when the “light bulb comes on,” when someone understands something they have been working on and having difficulty with.
How has Covid changed the way you volunteer and how are you adapting?
COVID has changed the way I volunteer because I now work with the students on Zoom instead of in person. It is more difficult to read how students are processing the information. It has been beneficial for me though because we are in Arizona for the winter this year, and I am still able to volunteer. I am very appreciative for the opportunity.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about volunteering at CNA?
I would highly recommend volunteering at CNA to anyone who asked me. It is a win-win-win. It is good for the students to get more one-on-one or small group practice. It helps the teacher in working with more students at their level and giving students more drill and practice. It is very rewarding for me to see people learn and become more proficient and comfortable in their communication skills.
Want to be a classroom volunteer?
Written by Heather Glidewell | LSS Center for New Americans | Adult ESL Instructor
300 East 6th Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls, SD 57103