Matchmaker, Matchmaker

New tutors learning to teach adult ESL.

This is always the happiest time of the “cycle” here at VEP.  It is matching time!  After completing one of our three annual tutor training sessions early this month, during which 36 new tutors joined our ranks, now the VEP staff begins an intensive but wonderful period of matching those tutors with eager students.

With 65 adult immigrants on our student waiting list, it doesn’t require a calculator to show you that we are still “in the red”, yet we are grateful to be able to match so many of these waiting students with volunteers to help them learn English.

Everything else the staff does here is in service of this primary function: to match adult immigrants with someone who will teach them the language and assist them in their work, family, community, and education goals.  And we like nothing better than the hour-long appointment here at our office when tutor and student are introduced, led through an initial lesson, and sent off on their own to meet twice a week and start learning!  It is a very special meeting, often quite moving for the pair involved, as well as for the staff member matching them.  As the newly matched pair leaves our office, the relief and gratitude of the student is palpable, all because of the time a stranger in his or her community was willing to give.

Thank you so much to the new tutors.  It is inspiring to see how earnest and enthused you all are.  Thank you to the Kesher Israel Congregation for donating their beautiful and convenient space in which we conduct the training sessions.

Does this inspire you to be a tutor?  Go to our website ( to find more information or to register for the next training session.  Change someone’s life …  and see how it changes yours.

by Patricia Morgioni, Program Coordinator