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Feature Articles

Removing Barriers

S. Patricia Wittberg is one of a handful of Sisters and Associates giving their time to the mission of Education Matters. The organization, located in East Price Hill (Cincinnati), provides positive adult education programs to the Cincinnati community, including English as a Second Language and GED preparation. Associate Mary Ellen Williams is one of those Charity Family volunteers, working with ESL adults. Mary Ellen reflects on what she enjoys and gains from the experience below.

About six months ago, S. Patricia Wittberg put out a call to Sisters and Associates who could help teach English to immigrants. I was among those who volunteered and have been enjoying it immensely. My “teacher juices” were reactivated.

The director of Education Matters partners teachers with different people each day. Many are African-American Muslim women who are pre-literate, having had no experience at all with any written language. Some are much more literate and just want help refining written language. Lately, I’ve been working with a delightful Japanese woman who falls in the latter category.

It is a wonderful privilege to help people acclimate to our country. And, to see the “aha!” moment in the eyes of a student is fulfillment enough for any teacher. They are always so grateful – and when leaving, it is so heartwarming to hear them call, “Thank you, ‘teacha’!”

To learn more about the programs offered at Education Matters, or to learn how you could volunteer, visit http://emcincy.org/.