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LVKC honors pair of local immigrants who made it work

February 12, 2014

(L-R) Robin Leroux, Program Assistant, Kathy Gray, Program Director, award winner Gayatri Aggarwal and Dorothy Brindamour, Board Member. The other winner, Denise Bueno, could not attend. Jessica Boisclair. Coventry Courier

COVENTRY— Two local women who immigrated from different countries have received an award from the Literacy Volunteers of Kent County (LVKC) Board of Directors for their willingness to learn and grow during their time in America.

Gayatri Aggarwal and Denise Bueno, both of Coventry, were given the Barbara Shafer Award for Student Excellence to recognize their “outstanding progress in achieving an individual goal.”

Kathy Gray, LVKC Program Director, explained that the LVKC was created in 1980 by librarian Virginia Carter and Barbara Shafer to teach adults the literacy skills needed to function in their homes, workplaces, communities and as citizens of the United States.

Shafer was an educator, who tutored for the Literacy Volunteers for 10 years before stopping because of an illness.

She said every student sets a goal during their program and can range any from learning English to getting a citizenship into the country.

“Usually we have a learning development plan we set up and it’ll have short-term and long-term goals on it,” she added. “A student might stay with us for a month or a few years. We usually have about 60 students a year coming and going.”

Two of those students impressed their tutors so much they were nominated for this award, which they ultimately won.

Gray explained that the program trains tutors a few times a year for 18 hours before they are matched up with various students.

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Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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