Opening Doors

Can you read this? If so, then that’s a very good thing. Stop and think for a moment about someone who couldn’t read it. Because reading, or, more accurately, literacy is everything. That’s where it all starts and stops when it comes to learning. The basics aside, even most math involves problem solving which in turn requires reading.

There’s that old saying, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” Well, if you are an adult immigrant in the Twin Cities, it is very possible that teacher could located within the walls of Open Door Learning Center. Part of the Minnesota Literacy Council and started in 1972, Open Door now has five locations in the Twin Cities. Although their main focus is adult immigrant learners, they don’t turn anyone away. Open Door also offers GED and citizenship classes.

I began volunteering at Open Door through Project SHINE, which was a final grade option for one of my past classes at Metro State. That class is long over and I received my grade, and for my participation in Project SHINE I also received an award. But the reward is where I found the true prize. And that comes from the warm fuzzy one feels when helping someone help themselves.

And that is why I continue volunteering at Open Door to this day—as a teacher’s assistant in an intermediate ESL class (English as a Second Language). The teacher is fun to work with and the students are eager to learn. I also found that I am a student there as well. I meet all these great new people from all parts of the globe, learning about their way of life, their culture, and even their language. The relationship is truly symbiotic.

If you know of someone who could benefit from their services, please let them know. Because to the ones who need it their door is always open (please pardon the pun). Feel free to ask me more about it or you can go read up about them yourself by clicking on the link above. Open Door is a valuable supplier for an invaluable product.


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