I came to the library to learn English so I can communicate with more people and be open to more opportunities. Before I started coming to the library, I wasn’t confident in myself. However, after coming to the library for a few years, I’m not only confident in myself when I speak English but I’m able to help others who don’t know any English at all! I hope to one day speak English fluently. I am very thankful for my tutor, Cathy, because she has helped me a lot.
I am grateful with the Literacy Program because it has helped me learn more English and overall it is helping me obtain my GED. Thank you to all the personnel and especially the volunteers!
The literacy program helps me to help my daughter and now I read books to my grandchildren. I use English in my work. I can have conversation with my customers. My goal is to speak, read and write very well. When I first came to the program, I could speak no English and now I can talk to people and I have read 12 or more books in English!
My family moved to the United States five years ago when I was a freshman in high school. Last summer I went back to China for a two month vacation. I looked forward to seeing my family and friends. I especially looked forward to having “real Chinese food!”
Getting to China was so exciting. This is the first time I traveled by myself. Once I got through security I was on my own. I took care of my luggage on my own. When I got to Beijing I had to change planes all by myself. Finally I met my Aunt in my hometown. (I’m not telling you its name because you probably couldn’t say it.) I felt so proud of myself for getting there on my own.
I found my city had changed a lot. There were better and fancier shopping malls, like South Coast Plaza. I had a lot of fun with my friends going to the shopping mall. Another thing that had changed was my middle school. They had totally rebuilt my school and now it looks really different. I couldn’t go visit because it was summertime and the school was closed.
I spent a good time with my family when I was in China. I really enjoyed my grandma’s cooking. That’s the flavors I remembered from my childhood. She is a really good cook. Now that I’m back in the United States, I really miss the food. Also, my mom came back to China too, after I got there. It was fun having her with me.
I really liked visiting my friend Behing Lin. We have been friends since we were nine years old. I met him whenever we could find time. When we hung out together, we talked a lot and shared food. It made me really happy to spend time with him. One thing he did was to help me out with my mom’s birthday. He delivered flowers to her for me that made my mom so happy. Something else I did was to visit my former singing teacher. I took lessons with her when I was younger in China. It was fun when we sang together at her house again.
During my vacation I learned a surprising skill. I went swimming with my friends and they teased me about looking like a turtle when I was swimming. My head was always out of the water. So I took swimming lessons to learn how to swim right. Now I am helping my friend become better. I really enjoy swimming now and I am so proud of myself.
by Michelle Wang
Loving to read is in my DNA. I can’t remember any time in my daily life where books weren’t playing an important role. Sharing that love has been a lifelong passion.
Fast forward to 2018: I’m three years retired from a past profession; I am now very happy to be a literacy volunteer for the Huntington Beach Public Library system at the Central Branch. As of 2016, I have had the honor of tutoring an extraordinary learner.
The Huntington Beach Literacy Specialists are dedicated to providing excellent tutor training seminars and resources, and they are always glad to provide assistance. Because of such a remarkable program, my first days with a learner weren’t quite so daunting. Now, at once a week for two hours, I feel so fortunate to be able to meet with my learner. Her desire to improve English pronunciation and reading-listening comprehension is most impressive.
It’s amazing how much fun even grammar, punctuation, and reading comprehension tasks can be, together with journaling, reading for pleasure, and competing games.
Yes, English may well be my native language, but I continue to be humbled by the many things I’m also learning alongside my wonderful learner.
The most important things in our lives is a very interesting question. I decided to ask my family.
My husband answered that the most important things in his life are family, to have good health, work, and love and peace.
My older daughter answered that most important things for her in her life are family, school, and friends (her best friend is Jasmine). My younger daughter answered that the cure for cancer was the most important for her.
After asking my family this question, I see that everyone has different perspectives in their lives depending on their age and experience.
Written by Patricia Calderon with help from her daughter.