Friday, May 19, 2017

Azusa Library :: Foothill Learning Alliance Brings Together Tutors, English Learners

Foothill Learning Alliance brings together tutors, English learners at Azusa library
Pasadena Star News: 5.13.2017 by Anissa Rivera

Hope is a word that would earn you nine points in Scrabble.

It’s also what Eugenia Arias had in spades when she came to the United States in 1988. She was 20 years old and eager to work.

“I started working as a babysitter with a very special family,” said Arias, now 47 and an Azusa resident. “I took care of a baby girl who was 5-months-old. I stopped taking care of her when she was 11.”

Arias’ charge is now 27-years-old and still in touch with her former babysitter.

It was that family who encouraged her to learn English, even though she resisted.

“I thought English wasn’t that important to me,” Arias said. “When I moved to Azusa about six years ago, my son started to go to school. He needed help with his homework, so we got a tutor for him at the library. That was how I started to learn English. It took me two years to learn English.”

Today, Arias tutors English learners three times a week at the Azusa City Library. She is one of about 40 volunteers who donate almost 2,000 hours a year helping others.

“I admire the group because they rise up to the task and they are motivated to learn English,” she said. “And I’ve made a lot of friends by speaking English. Even if we were bilingual, we would speak in English to help each other grow.”  READ MORE @

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