Methma is a Volunteer Representative for Swearer Tutoring and Enrichment in Math and Sciences (STEMS). As a VR, Methma helps plan weekly meetings for the tutors, which are intended to provide Brown tutors with tools to work more effectively, through tutoring skills, knowledge of current education policy, discussions on the role of a tutor in a classroom, or information about the Providence Public School system. She is currently tutoring in a physics class.
Teaching Adults to Read
Olneyville ESOL works in partnership with William D'Abate Elementary School to teach English to adult immigrants in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence. Coordinators Camille Spencer and Nicole Cacozza share a story about their beginnings and endings in the program.
Camille: When I first interviewed as a freshman to be a volunteer for the program, I had no idea what a huge effect it would have on my life. What started out as a desire to stay in touch with my Latin American roots became a fascination with communicating ideas in a new language, a desire to make some concrete change in other peoples' lives, a constant puzzle, and a road to many unique friends (as well as a few interesting van rides). I went from having never taught to seeing the same learners return semester after semester, watching their confidence and skills grow - as well as (I hope) my own. The people I've met through this program - both Brown students and the learners themselves - have taught me about the sort of person I admire. I'm proud of the work I've seen our volunteers do, and the ways that they themselves have learned. I can mainly hope that I've done right by them and that this program will continue to work to give our learners the best we’ve got.
These are simple words, but deeply felt. I will miss Olneyville ESOL, but I feel confident that it will continue to grow and thrive.
Nicole: My first semester at Brown, two of my friends in Keeney told me I should join this Swearer Center group with them called Olneyville ESOL. I had no background in adult education or language instruction, no real idea what I was getting myself into, but my friends were very convincing. They told me that things would be fine, I would learn everything I needed, plus it would be good to get off College Hill for a bit, and so I said yes.
Four years later, Olneyville ESOL has become the most important activity in my life at Brown. I have been a part of it every semester, first assisting, then teaching, and this year coordinating. I have learned more than I ever expected to about the theory and practice of teaching, and how to be confident in myself and my abilities both in the classroom and as an organizer and leader.
More than anything else, ESOL has been an amazing community to be a part of for four years. All the people involved, from the adults who come to class each semester to learn English, to my fellow Brown students who take on the challenge of learning to teach, make the program a wonderful and dynamic place. The commitment, intelligence and high spirits that I have seen day in and day out doing ESOL were what kept me coming back every semester. I was proud and happy to be a part of Olneyville ESOL, and I hope that after I graduate there will be more Brown students who are able to have the same experience.
June 20, 2016
June 13, 2016"I think about opening my mouth to call out goodbye, or to salute her in a traditional sign language farewell. Instead, I stand silently and smile."
Sally Hosokawa is a Community Fellow for Writers’ Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that facilitates creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities. She studies literary translation in the Comparative Literature Department.
May 14, 2016“Club teachers understand us,” she says. “Even though they’re older, they’re not that much older, and so they’re like us and we can identify with them and talk to them about our problems.”
Addy is a volunteer with the Brown Elementary Afterschool Mentoring Program (BEAM), a Swearer Center community partnership that facilitates after-school programing activities and mentorship between Brown volunteers and students at William D’Abate Elementary School in the Olneyville neighborhood.
February 22, 2016
Pia is a junior double-concentrating in Education Studies and Comparative Literature. This is her third year with Writers' Group, a Swearer Center Community Program that offers creative writing workshops for adults with developmental disabilities, and her first year as a Swearer Center Community Fellow.
February 19, 2016I was intrigued by the program, but very intimidated by some of the topics. I’ve never been in the position to talk about gender or sexuality or rape culture.
Tiara came into Brown dead set on studying Neuroscience. After a summer or working with the local Planned Parenthood branch and taking health based classes she realized public health was her real calling. She has been volunteering for the SHAPE (Sexual Health Advocacy through Peer Education) program since sophomore year.
February 16, 2016