VEP is grateful for the recent grant towards our general operating fund from the Harry Chapin Foundation, whose mission is to support organizations that have demonstrated their ability to dramatically improve the lives and livelihood of people by helping them to become self-sufficient.
Research has shown that learning music and acquiring a new language engage similar pathways in the brain. Mastering an instrument or song and a language both involve the intricate coordination of auditory perception, memory, pattern recognition and emotion. Together, we celebrate the ways in which music, philanthropy, and volunteerism continue to move hearts and minds around the world.
The 3rd Annual Chester County Open Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament, in association with Tennis Addiction and Pennypacker Country Club, returned to play the weekend of August 18th, 2023. Thank you to TT Krishnagopal, Anthony DeCecco, and the entire Tennis Tournament Committee for their hard work in organizing the tournament, which brought together community members to benefit the Volunteer English Program and the West Chester Food Cupboard.
When the Chester County community opens its doors to those seeking refuge from war, freedom from persecution, and relief from economic hardship, individuals turn to the Volunteer English Program for help.
This past year, VEP created pathways for 280 adult English language learners through the commitment of volunteer tutors, a 14% increase in demand since the pandemic began three years ago. As global crises forced millions from their homes in Ukraine, Afghanistan, West Africa, and throughout Latin America, VEP remained at the forefront, responding with compassion and innovation locally.
Once here, immigrants still face hurdles imposed by not having the words, understanding, or acceptance in their new communities. With an urgency to survive and a willingness to learn, VEP students courageously work to redefine their sense of home while reclaiming independence in their roles as parents, breadwinners, and individuals, now living in America.
Today, there are 196 active adult learners with over 100 more individuals still waiting for tutors. Over 60% of our current participants have families with children. Close to 75% face financial challenges living in Chester County, made more difficult with limited English proficiency.
The Volunteer English Program offers a vital link to success through language. Immigrants are then able to use their unique skills and talents, helping to make our communities places of peace and acceptance.