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Sowing Seeds and Reaping Lasting Harvests for Our ESL Students

September 11, 2017

When we began teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to serve a struggling, Spanish-speaking immigrant community years ago, we had no idea that our goal of breaking the cycle of poverty would lead to quite so many thriving endeavors and life-changing opportunities.

We at the Rosalie Rendu Center, along with our students and their families, have been blessed, generation after generation. Lives have been transformed and wonderful new educational and professional realities have been created for our Spanish-speaking community.

Scores of donors, brilliant, energetic volunteers, and a small but mighty staff have shared in the co-creation of our flourishing Center. Without them, we would not have such astonishing results for our students and their families — far beyond our original dreams.

Among their achievements, our ESL students are:

Our ever-growing collaborations with stellar organizations have allowed us to provide diverse and stimulating educational activities, classes and programs that go beyond the traditional classroom model of teaching ESL.

The collaborations with Stanford, for example, have grown richer every year. Stanford students and professors are closely integrated into our volunteer program as reading and writing teachers, workshop mentors and Conversation Club members.

An undergraduate at Stanford, Wint Thazin, served as an intern this summer. She captured the spirit of the students at the center perfectly:

“As a beginning learner of Spanish myself, I was inspired by their drive to learn English for themselves, their children and their careers. One woman said, ‘I want a better job so I can help my family. English is the only way.’

These women were fighters and nurturers. They worked far more than they rested, but they still radiated.”

Meaningful and creative volunteer and funding opportunities abound at RRC. Volunteers with special interests and skills are always welcome, as are donors who want their investment specified for specific needs.

We’ve been planting seeds and reaping a rich harvest of blessings here at the Rosalie Rendu Center for almost twenty years. The impact on the lives of the Spanish-speaking immigrant community we serve — and on our volunteers and donors — has far exceeded our hopes and expectations.

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Sister Trinitas, warmly known as Sister T at the Rosalie Rendu Center, shares her reflections of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in the East Palo Alto community. Sister T and her team have been offering free, specialized ESL classes for over 15 years in a traditionally underserved neighborhood in the Bay Area. Hundreds of families have benefited from the resources at the Center, and Sister T continues to deliver on the promise to combat poverty through education.

For more information please call (650) 473-9522 or email us.

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