I first began my volunteer work with the Dallas Public Library System in the mid 90's. At the time I lived about one block from the North Oak Cliff Branch. On one Saturday visit, I noticed a large class of ESL (English as a second language) students, but only one instructor. I informed the instructor that I was bilingual and that I would love to offer my assistance. I started with 10 students but that number soon grew to more than 20.
My next volunteer project was as a computer class instructor with the Polk-Wisdom Branch. I observed that the class was only being offered once a month. At the time, the instructor was one of the librarians. This was a time when both the Dallas Library System and the Dallas Independent School District were downsizing. I began teaching at the Polk-Wisdom Branch and over a period of time I recruited friends to assist me.
At present I am volunteering as a Senior Computer Class instructor at the Hampton-Illinois Branch. With support from AT&T, OASIS and AARP, we have the valuable tools needed for this class. The staff here at the Hampton-Illinois Branch, Mr. Ronnie Jessie, and Ms. Lisa Wilmes have been very supportive.
My philosophy as an instructor has always been to make the class fun and at the same time educational. When I observe the little light bulb illuminate above a student's head once they have grasped an area of study, the sight is truly a Kodak Moment.
We are eager for the OASIS Connections
program to become system-wide at all current and future public libraries in Dallas. We are taking notes on areas where we can improve the program. The future looks bright. And it brings with it rays of sunshine as we endeavor to give our best.