For those using the internet, smart phones or other wireless gadgets, you’ll know what these Acronymns mean—except maybe the last two - ESL and ESOL.

ESL (or ESOL), symbolize English as a Second Language. ESL is very close to our St. Leo hearts. The refugees and immigrants here greatly need to learn English. Currently we host ESL classes on Monday evening and Thursday during the day.

On the horizon, our individuals will need to prepare for and take the Citizenship/Civics Test to become U.S. citizens. They will be tested on speaking, reading, writing and U.S. civics. Included in the test are questions many of us citizens-since-birth might have difficulty answering! Do you remember how many amendments the Constitution has? Can we all name our U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator? How about naming the original first 13 states or what year the Constitution was written?

The task is daunting. Some are illiterate in their native language. Many cannot even recognize a letter and sound it out, which is a typical approach to ESL; phonics elude a handful of them. Many in need of ESL/Civics have never been in school, have never experienceda school environment, and so don’t even know “the basics” or even how to learn.

Remember in school studying, actually cramming at times, for a test? You only studied what would be on the test whether it made sense or not, right? “A + B = C. Okay, if you say so!” This same type of studying is what will be needed for our folks to prepare for Citizenship/Civics. Drilling the necessary information. Reinforcing the answers.

We are forming an intense program to travel this road to citizenship. Their journey continues here in the United States of America and they have been gently placed in our care to travel with them. Very soon, we will be in need of volunteers to work one-on-one with the adults, similar to our Tuesday tutoring for the grade school and high school students. More information will be forthcoming on the details, days, and times.

If some of you might consider walking with us on some way on this journey, it would be most welcomed and we’d be most grateful. Possibly a New Years Resolution? Think about it!

-Stephane Sepate