Kathryn's Blog


Paying It Forward with Literacy Volunteers

Paying It Forward with Literacy Volunteers


literacy volunteers

"If someone wants to live in the U.S., they should learn to speak the language!"


Have you ever heard someone spout that belief? I hear it on a regular basis, and it infuriates me. 

People from other countries come to the United States for a variety of reasons: work, family, education, relief from a difficult political environment, surviving a natural disaster, or seeking the chance for an improved quality of life. 

Leaving one's country of origin and having to learn the nuances of a new culture is a stressful life change. Having to learn a new language in order to function in a new country is a primary obstacle that speakers of other languages struggle with for years.

I have watched the population of Central Massachusetts become ever the melting pot as each year passes. I have listened to old-time residents complain about the newcomers who can't communicate in English. And I have decided that it is time for me to help ease the problem.

This fall, I underwent 18 hours of training to become a tutor with Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester.  In this training, I and my fellow trainees learned that it takes the average person (child or adult) 12 years to master reading, writing, speaking, and comprehending a language. Twelve years to fully learn and use a language! 

Literacy Volunteers painstakingly assists speakers of other languages in the journey of fluency in the use of English. As a volunteer tutor, I will be helping just one student improve his or her use of our country's native language.

The need for tutors in the Worcester area is great. Literacy Volunteers has a waiting list of over 60 students who seek help.  I will meet my student this week and am excited to help this one person improve his or her quality of life in the U.S.  But more help is needed. The next training session for Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester starts in January.  If you are also interested in helping someone improve their use of English, I urge you to contact the Literacy Volunteers and register for a training program.



Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester will be co-hosting
Immigrant and Refugee Stories of Worcester Women
on December 5, 2017 in the Worcester Public Library



Kathryn Acciari





Putting Today's Technology Tools to Work for You


Text and photos copyright Kathryn J. Acciari unless otherwise noted. 
All rights reserved.




Sturbridge & Central MA Real Estate and More



twitter linkedin icon 


Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador

Century 21 Real Estate LLC
175 Park Avenue
Madison NJ 07940

Serving Brokers, Owners, and Agents Throughout New England

Cell: (508) 982-0686   

Blog: Real Estate Blog
Twitter: @kacciari

Comment balloon 21 commentsKathryn Acciari • November 28 2017 12:56PM


Good morning Kathryn. What a great way to volunteer your time. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 2 years ago

Good morning, Kathryn... a wonderful cause. But I will say that as an immigrant myself, who spoke no English until I was "thrown into 1st grade," my issue is not with the time it takes people to learn a new language (I know how hard this is having had to do that when moving overseas). My issue is with people who refuse to take the time to do so. I was always appalled when I'd be on the Lexington Avenue subway in NYC to hear Puerto Rican teens speak English with an accent when many of them were born here and were third generation in NYC.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 2 years ago

Good morning, Kathryn Acciari nice way to pay it forward....congratulations for making the effort to get certified....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 2 years ago

Good morning Kathryn Acciari ,

I'm so glad that Barbara Todaro re-blogged your post! Congratulations to you for taking the time to get certified and help those assimilate in our country.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 2 years ago

Good morning Kathryn - I read this thanks to Barbara Todaro .  This is awesome.  You are making a difference and many of us can do the same thing.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 2 years ago

Wow, it takes "twelve years to fully learn a language" - That's something to chew on for a while!!  Kathryn, what a beautiful way to share your passion and give to your community - and I can feel the excitement in your words as you look forward to meeting your new student this week. Beautiful post!

Posted by Maria Sapio, Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com (Keller Williams of Central PA) over 2 years ago

Thank you very much for telling us about this program and your personal efforts.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 2 years ago

Good morning Kathyn. I think this is wonderful and opened my mind too.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 2 years ago

Many who come here can speak the language very well but for those that can't people like you are exactly what they need.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 2 years ago

Hi Kathryn - what a very special way of paying it forward.   Great job!

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 2 years ago

Sounds like you are on a great path to enlighten many in need.  Nicely done.

Posted by Belinda Spillman, Colorado Living! (Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado) over 2 years ago

Kathryn, I appreciate your efforts and volunteering in helping people who want to learn English as a second language. Since I immigrated myself and English is not my native tongue however, I do think that speaking the language of the land is important to advance oneself and become part of the fabric of American life and culture.  

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 2 years ago

I am in awe when someone new to this country buys a house...I can't begin to imagine the hurdle of mastering another language to that degree.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 2 years ago

That is a very good thing that you are doing and I am pretty sure that all of them want to learn the language and be able to communicate in the country they now live.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) over 2 years ago

Thank you, Kathryn. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in another country and have to master their language. Thank you for taking the time to help others with this 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 2 years ago

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 2 years ago

THis is a great organization - I am going to see if it is here in the DC metro area! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 2 years ago

I can see why Kathy chose to highlight your post this week!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 2 years ago

Kathyrn, congratulations on your award and literacy is a great cause to support. Kathy, thanks for featuring the post.  Have a great weekend.

Posted by Matthew Klinowski, PA, Golf Community Real Estate Specialist (Downing-Frye) over 2 years ago

Hi Kathryn

What a wonderful, and helpful, way to volunteer your time. No doubt there are many who can benefit from your help, and so many others. English is not an easy language and there are so many nuances.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing this with us. This is a great way to pay it forward Kathryn Acciari 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker! (Fathom Realty Washington LLC) over 2 years ago