ESL Rohobeth Beach

January 28, 2010

Tuesday evening I took a trip up to Rohobeth Beach, Delaware and got to attend my first ESL (English Second Language) class ever!

Years ago, Lutheran Church of Our Savior (LCOS) in Rohobeth Beach was a recipient of a seed grant that was available through LIRS. With the money they received this congregation began an ESL program that has now evolved into one of the largest in Delaware.

This past week as I accompanied Jamie, another LIRS volunteer, to visit the volunteer ESL teachers/mentors as well as visit/observe  classes and talk with students, I was absolutely blown away by this church and their attitude of welcome. I sat in on the advanced class and was beyond impressed the entire time. It was obvious that the relationships between the mentors and students were absolutely key factors to the success of this program.

Fifteen minutes before the beginning of class, first time students began arriving wanting to sign up.  Volunteers ran around photocopying papers and signing people up, making sure everyone was comfortable and cared for. Others worked busily in the kitchen to create a table FULL of delicious food and dessert for the twenty minute break time that would happen later in the night.

As I sat in on a class of about twelve students the environment was encouraging. I felt accepted quickly and was instantly comfortable speaking and joking with others. The mentors to the advance class, Jim and Patti, were caring, humble, and intentional with their students.

This program is inspiring and is fueled by the hearts and energy of it’s students and volunteers.

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