Juan Carlos: A Literacy Program Success Story

Reprinted Courtesy of West Valley View
Fuoco-Karasinski, Christina. (2017, November 1). Juan Carlos: A literacy program success story. West Valley View, p. 24.


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Juan Carlos has been called an inspiration.

Carlos moved here from Mexico to become a permanent resident and, subsequently, a U.S. citizen. When he wanted to improve his English—and his chances of passing the citizenship test—he looked to the Southwest Valley Literacy Association. 

He faithfully attended classes with tutor Diane Rosztoczy. As he become more proficient in English, he was promoted to a supervisory position at the diary which employed him.

“He now has the responsibility for supervising 62 employees,” said Rosztoczy. “His strong grasp of English enables him to not only communicate with employees in different languages, but also to interact with vendors and service providers in English.”

Carlos studied diligently in class for his citizenship test. He memorized the answers to all the 100 possible questions, and worked on the multipage application in class. His hard work paid off. After he passed the citizenship test, his employer was so impressed with his dedication that they reimbursed him for his expenses to get his citizenship.

To celebrate his achievement, the dairy owners and his teachers attended Carlos’ July citizenship ceremony at the Sandra Day O’Connor Courthouse. 

The Southwest Valley Literacy Association needs tutors as more non-English speaking adults from Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Avondale, Tolleson and Buckeye discover the program. 

“We always have a long list of students waiting for tutors to help them learn how to read, write and speak English,” said Southwest Valley Literacy president Jan Cosgrove.

“Imagine how frustrating it is for a non-English speaking adult to perform simple daily tasks such as making a doctor’s appointment, ordering food in a restaurant, or helping their kids with their homework. Imagine now how good it feels when a student lands a new job, gets their driver’s license, or obtains their citizenship. It’s through the efforts of our dedicated tutors at Southwest Valley Literacy that we help 200 adults achieve these types of successes each year.”

Tutor training workshops are offered several times a year, including November 11 and November 18, or January 6 and January 13. Prospective tutors do not need to have teaching experience or speak any language other than English. Upon completion of the two-day workshop, they will be certified by ProLiteracy America as a literacy and ESL tutor. 

For more information, visit swvalleyliteracy.org, or email Jan Cosgrove at office@swvalleyliteracy.org.

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