Mary Jane Watson, a volunteer for Adult Basic Education (ABE), has worked with the program for six years, helping scholars who are working to learn how to speak, read and write in English.
When her kids left to go to college, Watson was looking for something to fill the evening hours. She saw that Literacy Minnesota had a 12-hour training program to learn how to tutor English Language learners. After completing the course, she saw a listing for ABE and thought it would be a good fit, despite going into the training thinking she would work with children. She found that she loved working with adult scholars and found it very rewarding, and has continued to volunteer year after year.
“At the beginning of the school year in September, when you come in and see some of your former students in the higher level classes, and you remember where they started and you see the progress that they made. That is what keeps me coming back,” Watson said.
Watson appreciates working with the adult scholars because they are so enthusiastic and dedicated. She enjoys watching them set goals and keep coming back to reach them.
“My favorite part is meeting people from all over the world,” Watson said. “It seems like every month, there is a new student from a country where I have never met someone from that country. It is just amazing.”
Osseo ABE offers free classes for adults, allowing them to learn English, improve their reading, writing, or math skills, prepare for the GED exam, earn their adult diploma, learn alongside their children in family literacy and gain skills and certificates for getting a job or promotion.
“ABE is a very necessary program, the teachers are amazingly dedicated and volunteers are definitely needed, so people should look into it,” Watson said.
Besides volunteering for ABE, Watson works as a pharmacist. In her free time, she enjoys knitting and reading.
To learn more about ABE and classes that are offered, visit the Community Education website.
- Community Ed