Unum employees help others find their voice

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Unum employees help others find their voice

Since 2017, Unum has provided financial and volunteer support to Literacy Volunteers of Greater Worcester (LVGW), an organization that provides the adults of Greater Worcester the English language skills they need to thrive in our community.

Because we believe education is the foundation of strong communities and the key to great futures for our children, we helped fund the ESOL Helping Your Schoolchild course. The course provides English language education and helps adults learn cultural expectations and communication skills to build a stronger foundation with teachers.

“A literate adult is one of the most important variables to a child’s educational success,” said Jolene Jennings, Executive Director of LVGW. “This course goes beyond the adults to impact the children of these adults along with the teachers in our community schools.”

Additionally, Unum employees provide one-on-one tutoring sessions. Volunteer tutors are trained and then matched with an adult student for weekly one-to-one tutoring sessions for a 9- to 12-month commitment. This individualized tutoring helps students with the practical application of English to achieve goals which may range from managing daily living requirements to securing a new (or better) job, and even pursuing U.S. citizenship.

English language proficiency helps LVGW students achieve greater economic security for themselves and their families through better job prospects, a road to citizenship, and greater civic and social involvement. In turn, Worcester becomes stronger when its inhabitants can more fully participate in its community.

Amanda Addeo, senior disability benefits specialist for Unum and current president of the board of directors for LVGW, has been a tutor since 2015. She has seen her student, a young woman from China, flourish as she’s become more proficient in English.

“From non-profits like LVGW to corporations like Unum, we as a society are devoting more attention to relationships between language, culture, and education,” said Addeo. “Unum knows we’re stronger when all kinds of people have a seat at the table, and we are proud to partner with an organization that helps people find their voice and join the conversation.”

In 2018, Unum and its employees helped LVGW provide more than 6,000 hours of English language education to 607 adult students over the last year.

“We are extremely grateful for our collaborative partnership with Unum,” Jennings said. “Their commitment along with the support of their employees has enabled us to expand our program and create life-changing education opportunities for adults and children in the Worcester community.”

Want to join Unum in supporting LVGW? Please consider becoming an LVGW tutor.

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