Blanca and her two sons, Cesar and Daniel attended Literacy Achieves together from 2009 -2013. Blanca continues to lead a monthly parent support group and acts as a liaison to other parents who need help.
“I came to the United States from Mexico. I have two children.
When my children were born I realized how important the English language was in our lives. I was looking for a place where I could study and bring my children. I found Literacy Achieves and our lives have improved considerably.
I can speak and understand English. I feel confident when I go somewhere and nobody speaks Spanish especially at my children's school and doctor's offices. I can read with my children and I can help them with their homework.
My two little boys can speak and understand English also. My older one Daniel is taking regular classes in English and doing very well. His development is as good as his friends who speak English only. My little one Cesar started to recognize the colors and named them when he was 18 months old. He loves that I read to him in English. He can speak and understand English as well as his brother.
I am so proud of my children's successes and thankful to Literacy Achieves for the opportunity to achieve our dreams."
Sisay improves his employment through English literacy.
Featured is Muna with Cheryl Polman, a Literacy Achieves volunteer teacher.
“After suffering through a hard life in Iraq, Baghdad, we had finally fled to America in 2009 with my husband and two children. Being a physics teacher, I taught high school although it was a very low paying job at best.
The journey began when we had taken four flights; from Baghdad to Jordan, Germany, New Jersey and finally Dallas. When we had finally reached our destination, I had realized there was a new difficult life that we had to endure.
We came through the IRC organization. First our case worker took us from the DFW airport at 1:00am. We were so exhausted from that long trip. We went directly to our first apartment that they had rented for us in the Harvard Square Complex on Ridgecrest Road. They had helped us a lot; teaching us about the new life here in the US because everything was different and new for us. Even how to open an account at the bank, or going to enroll my children in the school, or take them to the doctor, or even how to set up an internet account, to call and talk to the companies. Everything was new and different.
The next big problem was the language. My English was very insufficient. I had to worry about how my family will survive without me getting a job. I cried for days, even too afraid to go to a grocery store and always asking my husband to assist me. Until one day, we were walking to the Fiesta grocery store, and it was a very messy snowy day, I had seen a sign that said Vickery Meadow Learning Center. I asked my husband to enroll in this seemingly friendly school. It was my first step into the new world, an English filled one.
One of the biggest things Literacy Achieves helped me achieve was motivation and encouragement. This motivation led me to learning English and start communicating with other people.
I actually started understanding and interpreting what teachers say in my kid’s school. I even remember having surgery in 2011 without a translator. I started making friends from many different countries and I could see just how they struggled ever so similarly like me. We started sharing our culture together which made me even happier. Literacy Achieves opened up another chance. It was a chance for me to get a job as a preschool teacher. Ever since that day, I have stayed for more than 6 years. I immediately and still love this school.
Literacy Achieves also offered me a class for citizenship and they taught me America’s history and I eventually passed my test and I got my citizenship in 2015. I’m proud of myself that I am one of the members of this school."