From left to right, Amy Early, Gem Adeyinka, Janis McGowan, Debbie Piper, Emily Newsom and Ben Broeren are ready to train adult learners after completing their English language tutor training at Aquinas Literacy Center.

Aquinas Literacy Center Returns to In-Person Tutor Training

Published September 23, 2021

Aquinas Literacy Center celebrated the return of in-person tutor training with the graduation of the latest cadre of volunteer English language tutors over the weekend of September 18-19, 2021.

The McKinley Park neighborhood center, which is also celebrating its 25th year of service, provides free English instruction to adult learners with the help of dozens of volunteers who train to become certified language tutors.

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"Without the support of many volunteers, Aquinas would not be able to carry out its mission of empowering adults to learn English and become more engaged in their community," said Associate Director Sabrina Poulin.

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"This was the first time an in-person Tutor Training Workshop was held since January 2020," Poulin said.

During the 18-month gap necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Aquinas continued to educate learners and train tutors through remote learning.

As reported here in the McKinley Park News, Aquinas' facility at 1751 W. 35th St., Chicago, has also been undergoing significant capital improvements, including overhaul of its facade supported by a Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) grant.

Next Training on Oct. 23

The most recent tutor training brought volunteers Gem Adeyinka, Ben Broeren, Amy Early, Janis McGowan, Emily Newsom and Debbie Piper into the fold of volunteers at the center. They will each be assigned a single pupil, who they will then tutor on a one-on-one basis for about 90 minutes per week at the center, online or a hybrid of both.

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Knowledge of a second language is not required to be a tutor, Poulin said, and all instruction takes place in English.

The next English Literacy Tutor Training takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2021, Poulin said. For more information and to be put on the Aquinas Literacy Center contact list, send email to or call (773) 927-0512.

"Aquinas Literacy Center still needs tutors because there are over 30 students waiting to be matched with an English tutor," Poulin said.

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