August 28, 2016

Ministry Letter

The ESL Breakfast Club: Thanks and Welcome

The ESL Breakfast Club began in July of 2013, inspired by UMC Resolution 3281 urging us to welcome the strangers in our midst. Its mission is to bring together people of substantially different backgrounds, located in different parts of the City of Long Beach, to learn to appreciate each other’s talents and contributions. We recruit fluent English-speaking volunteers to serve as one-on-one ESL tutors. Our students are parents, predominantly Latino, who want to improve their English primarily to communicate with their school-age children learning in English-based programs.

Since its inception in July 2013, the ESL Breakfast Club has marshalled the services of more than 45 volunteers to tutor approximately 50 students and has a waiting list of numerous Latino mothers and fathers living in the area surrounding the Neighborhood Church in downtown Long Beach. We have provided eight rounds of seven to ten week classes; conducted 14 days of tutor orientation; taken three field trips with students; organized eight culminating celebrations; provided 64 days of free breakfasts (about 2,650 meals) and 64 days (about 120 hours) of free childcare. Average class size is 12-15 students, tutored by the same number of tutors. Thanks to the extravagant generosity of church members like you and LAUMC Foundation grants, services are offered free of charge.

More than the statistics cited above, the ESL Breakfast Club has impacted tutors and students profoundly. From the mother who is for the first time communicating in English with her son, identified as autistic, to the tutor who has finally found something meaningful to do in retirement, both students and teachers consistently give testimony to its lasting impact on the heart and mind.

We are now recruiting English-speaking volunteers of all ages to serve as tutors Tuesday mornings, from 9:30 until 11 a.m., beginning October 11 and finishing December 13. You need not have a teaching background, and it is usually easier if you do NOT speak Spanish. Orientation is provided Tuesdays, September 6 and 13 at LAUMC, from 9:30 until 11:30 a.m. If you are unsure this is for you, come to Orientation and decide for yourself. You will find that this work is about much more than simply teaching English.

Contact Jane Wilson Barboza, telephone (562) 485-8344; e-mail janewbarboza@gmail.com for more information or to volunteer!