Quietly making a difference in Bradenton:
Driving along 14th Street West in Bradenton, most people would hardly notice Project Light of Manatee at 1104 14th St. W. where caring, generous volunteers are busy helping immigrants with the mighty task of learning English.
Twenty-five volunteers and two secretaries keep the classes going for the 40-50 students who come in every week. The students come from a range of economic, cultural and educational backgrounds, but they share the goal of learning English well enough to function daily, find better jobs, or go to college.
Some of them work 10-hour shifts and still discipline themselves to come to class month after month. Some are illiterate in their own language so learning English is much, much harder, but they keep at it with a smile. The teachers are patient and hard-working and willing to keep trying to help these newcomers to our community improve their lives by learning the language.
Project Light was started 21 years ago by Sister Nora Brick and Ed and Ann Griffin. I have the privilege of being the program director and I want to publicly thank Project Light volunteers and make others aware of this opportunity to become involved in a very rewarding teaching experience. We close for the month of July, but on Aug. 1 the students will be at the door and we will be ready to greet them. I encourage interested readers to find out more and contact us.