Wellspring Adult Learning Center

The stage is set for painting at the Saunders House.


         Over the last 12 months, the Wellspring Adult Learning Center has continued to be a vibrant and diverse learning community. Our English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) program served 60 English language learners throughout this past year. An additional 11 students worked on literacy or GED test preparation skills. We are grateful for the 31 volunteer tutors who have made it possible to assist a total of 71 adults in making gains in their language and other educational goals.
         Our students are a diverse group representing a range of backgrounds and educational experiences. Our ESOL students come from a variety of counties including: Egypt, Albania, Brazil, Greece, Guatemala, Thailand, Mexico, China, Honduras, Micronesia, and Korea. GED students also present with a range of educational backgrounds and needs. Some students require only to brush up and gain the confidence to take and pass the GED test. Others have more learning to cover and will work with us over many months. 
         This year ESOL learners and volunteers joined together to celebrate our diverse cultures and customs with day and evening multicultural events. The ALC sponsored a winter celebration and a spring fiesta. As in the past, students shared ethnic foods and presented cultural items from their home country. We enjoyed an array of delicious international foods: Thai spring rolls, tamales, Mexican rice pudding, and Korean noodles, to name just a few of the homemade dishes offered.  Students and volunteers enjoyed learning about each other, practicing English, and celebrating the wonderful diversity represented in our group of adult learners.
         During the Middle Street Walk, the ALC was excited to present a holiday program for children and families in the Friend Room. A team of ALC volunteers, students and staff shared stories, crafts, and poems from winter celebrations around the world. Participating children made Scandinavian heart baskets and piñatas both filled with candy, learned a Spanish rhyme “Bate, Bate, Chocolate” (Stir, Stir, the Hot Chocolate), and sampled Mexican Hot Chocolate. The event was enjoyed by about 35 participants.
          Currently the center is open Tuesday and Thursday days and Thursday evening. Approximate 35-40 students are active participants in Adult Learning Center activities throughout any week. Students meet with teachers 1 or 2 times each week. Occasionally students meet more briefly with staff for testing and referral to other programs. This month (October 2009) we will open Tuesday evenings to offer an ESOL conversation class in collaboration with Pathways for Children. The center will also provide additional tutoring sessions during the new Tuesday evening time slot
          It has been a pleasure and honor to collaborate with the adult learners and volunteers at the Wellspring Adult Learning Center.  As we move into our third year, we will continue to celebrate the joy of life long learning and to provide a nurturing environment for adults to progress toward their educational and life goals.

Respectfully submitted,  

Melissa Buchanan
Wellspring Adult Learning Center Teacher