KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a heartwarming effort to foster inclusivity and empower non-English speakers in our community, Literacy KC provides free English language learning (ELL) classes.
The organization’s initiative has not only helped individuals gain language proficiency, but for many like Luz Veronica Sangerman, it has also strengthened the bonds within the community.
“Well, impacting me, I was surprised when I saw many people from different countries and speak English with them and sometimes you can't understand the accent from other people but it's nice because you can know many cultures, many languages and make a lot of friends,” Sangerman said.
At no cost, Literacy KC has been at the forefront of promoting diversity and integration within our city. Its ELL program has become a beacon of hope for those striving to communicate effectively in English, whether it's for employment opportunities, education or simply for everyday interactions.
“I think it's very, very easy, especially when you don't have a job, but you need to learn English, and you don't have money to pay for that,” Sangerman said. “And this is good. It's very good with that.”
Classes are held at Clymer Community Center in Kansas City, Missouri. They’re opened to all non-English speakers in-person or via Zoom and cover a wide range of language skills, including speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Each class is taught by dedicated and certified ESL instructors who are passionate about helping their students succeed alongside volunteers who spend their time helping them one-on-one. Mylinda Scott, a volunteer at Literacy KC, said it brings her joy to spend time with the students she works with.
“It makes me feel really good and happy, but I get as much back as I give. I've gotten friends. We have fun in here,” Scott said.
In a world that often emphasizes differences, Literacy KC is proving that language can be the bridge that connects us all, regardless of where we come from or the languages we speak.
“Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the things that are wrong with our country and it's contagious, the enthusiasm that others show for wanting to come here increases my gratitude for being here.”
To learn more about Literacy KC and their ELL program, or to inquire about joining a class or volunteering, visit their website at literacykc.org