The 20th annual Celebrate Literacy awards luncheon took place Friday in Modesto, honoring four adult English learners and two people who support the cause.
The Literacy Network of Stanislaus County held the luncheon at the Petersen Event Center. The organizers provided these details:
- Leticia Crisantos of Patterson got one of the two English as a Second Language Awards. More than 20 years ago, she vowed to learn five new words a day from an English dictionary. She is a caregiver at a senior living facility and for years could only work with Spanish-speaking patients. ESL classes enabled her to serve English-speaking patients. Crisantos hopes to study nursing in college.
Esmeralda Felix, the other ESL Award winner, had started at Modesto Junior College in 2009 as a non-English speaker. She has since learned the language, which allowed her to complete the science and math classes required for the respiratory therapy program. Felix will graduate from the program in May at the top of her class and hopes to continue with MJC’s new bachelor’s degree in that field.
The Literacy Award went to Maryna Ninovska, a student in LearningQuest, an adult education program based in Modesto. She was born in Ukraine, where she completed two years of college. She came to the United States on a work/study program in 2015. Ninovska studied with a LearningQuest volunteer tutor and then completed its high school equivalency classes. She enrolled in a vocational program focusing on business administration and hopes to attend MJC.
Martha Venegas received the High School Diploma or Equivalency Award. She immigrated to the U.S. with her family in 2008 and enrolled in ESL classes at El Concilio and MJC. She went to LearningQuest to earn her high school equivalency diploma in Spanish. Venegas now studies office administration at the college.
Trinidad Estrada won the Betty Mulnix Service Award. She teaches in the high school equivalency program at the Central Valley Opportunity Center. Before that, she taught ESL and reading in public schools. She combined classroom instruction and digital technology to help students improve their reading and writing.
The Jean and Clyde Dunlap Award went to Olga Castaneda, a librarian at the Ceres county branch and former outreach librarian for Stanislaus County Youth Services. In the previous job, she engaged with families through literacy workshops at parks, churches, apartment complexes and schools. She also promoted reading at farm and industrial workplaces and community events. Castaneda established a reading club and library for juvenile offenders.
Names of Note recognizes people and organizations for their contribution to their communities. Submit items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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