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June 17, 2020, Chicago, Illinois –  Aquinas Literacy Center, a nonprofit literacy organization in McKinley Park on the southwest side of Chicago, knows the value that teaching English to adults has on a community during times of uncertainty. The students, volunteers, and staff have been working diligently to keep teaching and learning English virtually. 

Without the support of many volunteers, Aquinas Literacy Center would not be able to carry out its mission of empowering adults to learn English and become more engaged in their community during this crisis.

Since Aquinas Literacy Center’s doors closed on Monday, March 16, 2020:

  • 124 learners have been receiving daily English assignments through email.  
  • 50 learners have had access to Rosetta Stone, a special program to help users learn a foreign language, on their computers and phones. 
  • 16 tutoring pairs are actively learning English through virtual tutoring on Zoom.  

Aquinas Literacy Center has remained engaged with the community by:

  • Hosting an “Appreciation Happy Hour” on Zoom for volunteers during National Volunteer Week in April.
  • Offering a Virtual Coffee Break for learners and volunteer tutors. 
  • Providing an opportunity for the administrative team to check in with learners through a Virtual Coffee Break for learners only.

Aquinas Literacy Center will also provide a Professional Development opportunity on Zoom for current tutors, as well as host an All-Aquinas Celebration on Zoom to replace the annual end-of-the-year Student Awards Celebration and Graduation in June.

Aquinas Literacy Center anticipates re-opening and is looking forward to beginning in-person tutoring again this September.  

Aquinas Literacy Center is one of seven literacy centers in the United States sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters.


Members of the administrative staff of Aquinas Literacy Center send an online message to learners and tutors. Clockwise, from top left, they are Sabrina Poulin, Volunteer Coordinator; Alison Altmeyer, Executive Director; and Meghan Green, Program Director. Photo by Alison Altmeyer


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