News & Blog: Learner Stories


Blogger: Carrie Roper, Literacy Coordinator

Monika Skripal’s motivation for practicing her English language skills always comes back to one thing: family. As the mother of Monika Skripaltwo young daughters, Monika is using her English daily to advocate for their needs and to support their education. In fact, it was through their school – West Godwin Elementary – that Monika first heard about the parent-focused English classes offered through the Literacy Center’s Family Literacy Program.

Monika began attending the classes offered twice a week at her daughters’ school. Through these classes, Monika practiced skills such as talking to her daughters’ teachers at conferences, understanding school documents, and helping her children with homework. During her three semesters with this program, Monika progressed from an Intermediate level to Advanced.

When Monika’s youngest daughter started attending kindergarten, Monika had more time on her hands and the ability to attend a class with more hours. That is how she became interested in the Literacy Center’s Customized Workplace English classes hosted on site at the Literacy Center. These classes, which take place three days a week for 11 weeks, have a focus on workplace, computer, and citizenship English language skills, all of which related to Monika’s long term goals. Throughout her time in these classes, Monika has accomplished many of her goals: obtaining her citizenship, developing her financial and computer literacy skills, and polishing her resume for future use.

Monika has shared that she has learned so much through her years of instruction with the Literacy Center. At home, Monika’s daughters use English, Russian, and Czech, however they they have an English-only rule during homework time. Monika says that not only does she feel comfortable helping her daughters with their homework, but that she is also confident to go to parent teacher conferences without her husband. Her adult son is married to an American, so she also feels comfortable speaking in English with her in-laws. Monika has plans to continue attending Literacy Center classes until she obtains a job, hopefully next fall.

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