Hammonton Rotary hears ESL program update

ESL picture
Pictured from left are Dory Dickson of Migrant Worker Outreach and the Hammonton Rotary Club, Kathleen Vermeeren, Migrant Worker Outreach ESL teacher, and Hammonton Rotary Club President Micky Doto.

HAMMONTON – The Hammonton Rotary Club received an update on the Migrant Worker Outreach program it supports at its weekly meeting Monday, Oct. 5 at Rocco’s Townhouse.

The club is entering its third year of supporting an ESL program for Haitian migrants through the purchase of hard to find Creole to English dictionaries. The club has purchased approximately 60 of them over the past two years.

Kathleen Vermeeren of Pitman, a volunteer ESL teacher with the program, said the dictionaries have a tremendous impact on the workers.

“For them it is a step up to have these dictionaries,” Vermeeren  said of the migrants she has been teaching for two summers. “I want you to know how much your support makes a difference in their lives. They appreciate every single thing you do for them.”

Vermeeren, who teaches at St. Augustine Preparatory School, has taught farm workers at Glossy Fruit Farm and Variety Farms in Hammonton. Migrant Worker Outreach reaches workers at 21 migrant camps in Atlantic and Burlington counties during blueberry picking season.

Dory Dickson, Hammonton Rotary Club member and director of Migrant Worker Outreach, said the group’s mission is to welcome migrant workers to New Jersey by publishing Migrant Worker Journals, coordinating ESL classes, and facilitating the involvement of other organizations. In addition to the Hammonton Rotary Club, other participating groups include Stockton University, the United Methodist Church of Hammonton, Temple Beth El, Spanish Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church, St. Mary of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Red Lion Faith Chapel, plus students in public and private schools, public libraries and local businesses.

Volunteers also help collect clothing and bedding to distribute at the camps, as well as providing engaging activities for the workers.

The ESL project is just one of many community programs supported by the Hammonton Rotary Club.

By supporting local scholarships, youth sports teams, youth leadership programs and clubs, plus numerous civic and community projects, the Hammonton Rotary Club has been putting service above self since 1958.

The public has an opportunity to help the Hammonton Rotary Club help the community by supporting its upcoming 50/50 raffle. For just $20, the ticket holder has the opportunity to win a cash prize worth thousands.

The drawing will take on Veterans Day, 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Hammonton DAV hall. You don’t have to attend the drawing to win. Tickets are available from any club member or email hammontonrotary@gmail.com.

To learn more about how the Hammonton Rotary Club is serving the community see www.hammontonrotary.org, or look for Hammonton Rotary on Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about Migrant Worker Outreach see www.migrantworkeroutreach.org.



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