That first day, she climbed on the bus near her home, paid her fare, and sat down. For over an hour, she rode around and around on the bus. She could see her workplace in the distance, but the bus never got close enough. Finally, she mustered her courage and approached the driver. In her limited English and heavy accent, she pointed toward her workplace and asked, “Why can’t you take me there?” He explained that she needed to take the orange line, and he kindly showed her where to wait for it. She disembarked and waited for the proper bus, which took her straight to her workplace.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you—to approach the driver on a city bus--but for this young African mother, it was incredibly intimidating! Later that day, she texted her English teacher, “Thank you, Teacha, for making me confident in English. I was brave to speak to bus driver. He told me I need to find orange line bus. I know orange because your class! I remember picture of orange in class! I am very happy to know you!”
KIN typically helps launch four new Adult English (formerly ESL) sites each year. (Here's a complete listing of available classes.) Classes offered through KIN do more than improve the English of our students. They increase their confidence and ability to thrive in Knoxville!
READY TO GET INVOLVED?
You can help a new Knoxville resident learn the color orange (and all their other colors) so they can thrive here, just like this amazing woman. We will offer another volunteer adult English teacher certification soon. Learn more about it here.
Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.