Volunteer to Help Make a Difference

ESL Students
Decisions For Living (DFL) tutors work with inmates in the Bucks County Correctional Facilities, teaching a process that emphasizes self-awareness, personal responsibility, critical thinking, and goal setting. DFL provides inmates with tools to help them reintegrate more effectively into the community upon release.
Basic Literacy (ABE) tutors work with adults who want to improve their basic education: reading, writing and math skills. Individual and small group tutoring supports English speakers who are assessed at Beginning Literacy, Beginning ABE and Low Intermediate ABE levels. Tutors can choose to work with adults in the community or in the Bucks County Correctional Facility.
English as a Second Language (ESL) tutors work with adults for whom English is not their first language and who wish to improve their English proficiency. It is not necessary to speak another language. The ESL tutoring program is focused on small group instruction from beginning to advanced levels.
Click Here for more information about our volunteer programs.

Looking for a Unique and Rewarding Volunteer Experience?

Doylestown, PA (September 29, 2016) Vita Education Services is offering a Decisions For Living (DFL) tutor training course for volunteers interested in working with adults preparing to leave prison. DFL tutors work with clients in the Bucks County Correctional Facility in Doylestown teaching a logical five-step process that emphasizes self-awareness, personal responsibility, critical thinking, and goal setting. This unique decision-making process provides clients with tools to help them reintegrate more effectively into the community upon release.

The 15-hour volunteer tutor training will be held in Doylestown on six Thursday evenings beginning Nov.3. The training includes learning the DFL process and a tour of the Correctional Facility. No teaching experience is needed to tutor DFL; volunteers must be at least 21 years of age. Criminal record clearance is required.

Click Here for more information and the registration form.

Vita Receives Grant from The Philadelphia Foundation

logo_philadelphia_foundation1 Vita Education Services has received a $34,000 grant from the Walter E. Hering Fund #2 of The Philadelphia Foundation for general operational support. Announcement of the grant was made by Pedro A. Ramos, President and CEO of the Foundation.

Linda Wolfson, Vita’s Executive Director said, “The ongoing support of the Philadelphia Foundation is greatly appreciated by our students, staff, and board. Vita provides quality programs to the undereducated, unemployed, and underemployed to help them improve their lives and the lives of their families.”

One of America’s oldest community foundations (founded in 1918), The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) is committed to improving the quality of life in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. A foundation and a public charity, TPF connects philanthropic resources to societal needs. TPF manages assets of approximately $370 million and more than 900 charitable funds established by its fund holders. It distributes about $25 million annually to nearly 1,000 nonprofits as grants and scholarships, and promotes great philanthropy and stronger nonprofits in service to community needs. To learn more, visit www.philafound.org

Vita Presents at National Conference

CEA Logo Linda Wolfson, Vita’s Executive Director, and Vita’s Curriculum and Training Specialist, Gail Huber, recently presented a workshop at the Correctional Education Association (CEA) International Leadership Forum in Marksville, Louisiana. CEA is a professional organization for educators in adult and juvenile corrections settings.

The topic of the presentation was “Teaching Decision Making in a Criminal Justice Setting.” Attendees included teachers and administrators from jails, prisons, probation departments and university faculty from around the country.

The workshop was based on Vita’s 45-year history of teaching its Decisions process to at-risk populations in a variety of criminal justice and community settings. These include incarcerated adults, probationers, teens, and adult basic education students. Vita has developed unique, copyrighted Decisions curriculum materials for each of these populations. Click Here for more information about these products.

Let’s Go to School!

Vita held “Power of Moms” year-end celebrations at its two Family Literacy class locations in Bristol Township and Centennial school districts. The “Power of Moms” theme is in recognition of the research findings that “a mother’s literacy level is the greatest predictor of a child’s success in school.” Each program included speeches by students, the presentation of attendance and achievement certificates, and an “around the world feast” prepared by the students. Projects and artwork made by students and their families were on display. One of the student speakers, who has two young children who attend the program with her, said, “I want to thank each person that makes Vita Family Literacy possible. It is a big challenge learning English, but not impossible. My children are learning so much. Everyday my daughter gets up and says, ’Wake up everybody. Let’s go to school!’”

A Million Thanks!

Vita honored its valued volunteers at a “Brunch with the Vita Bunch,” held on April 30th at the American Legion in Newtown. It was a celebration to recognize Vita’s Literacy, ESL, and Decisions tutors for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to making a real difference in the lives of Vita’s students. Also honored were Vita’s office volunteer and all-volunteer Board of Directors.

Over 90 people attended the brunch. The program was well received. It included student and tutor panelists talking about the impact the tutoring program makes on both students and tutors. Executive Director Linda Wolfson thanked the volunteers for their over 4,000 hours of donated time. She said,” You’re more important than ever. You make it possible to provide individual programming for those who may not benefit from a classroom situation. You offer empathy without crossing boundaries. You teach skills that have the potential to change the lives of your students and the lives of their families. You provide the foundation for further education and training. You offer hope to those whose lives, at times, seem overwhelming.”

Life-long Learner

Lister is a student participating in one of Vita’s small tutoring groups at the Levittown Library. He is a dedicated student who is always prepared and willing to do the work required for each class. Lister has always been open to learning and enjoys going to the library to read biographies and books about other subjects that interest him. He has had several careers, first as an Army infantryman, then working for Conrail and Amtrak, and later at a chicken processing plant. Instead of relaxing in his retirement, Lister has set his sights on getting a job working with the elderly. Lister knew he needed to improve his academic skills to attain this next career goal, so he reached out to Vita. He reports that his current tutors, Sheryl and Bailey, have been very helpful to him and are doing a great job with his instruction. The tutors say that Lister is an inspirational life-long learner.

Dr. Baugh Visits Family Literacy

New Centennial School District Superintendent Dr. David Baugh paid a visit to Vita’s Family Literacy program, which is held in collaboration with the school district at its administration building in Warminster. He met with Family Literacy Instructor Iryna Yefimenko and Family Literacy Teaching Assistant Andrea Kim to introduce himself and share that he is informed about the importance of the program and values the work Vita is doing to help Centennial ESL families. He then stopped by the Family Literacy class to meet and interact with the students.

Family Literacy is a program to assist English as a Second Language parents in gaining the literacy and parenting skills they need to become full partners in the educational development of their young children. It promotes parents’ involvement in their children’s education as their children’s first teachers. Vita also collaborates with Centennial School District to offer Basic Literacy, ESL, and GED preparation evening classes for adults at William Tennent High School.

 

A Unique Volunteer Experience

criminal-justice Doylestown, PA (October 9, 2015)  Vita Education Services is offering a Decisions For Living (DFL) tutor training course for volunteers interested in working with adults preparing to leave prison. DFL tutors work with clients in the Bucks County Correctional Facility in Doylestown teaching a logical five-step process that emphasizes self-awareness, personal responsibility, critical thinking, and goal setting. This unique decision-making process provides clients with tools to help them reintegrate more effectively into the community upon release.

The 15-hour volunteer tutor training will be held in Doylestown on six Thursday evenings beginning Oct. 29. The training includes learning the DFL process and a tour of the Correctional Facility. No teaching experience is needed to tutor DFL; volunteers must be at least 21 years of age. Criminal record clearance is required.

Click Here for more information and the registration form.

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

GH & LW Gaedited Atlanta, Georgia (Sept. 28, 2015) Vita’s Executive Director Linda Wolfson and Gail Huber, Vita’s Decisions Curriculum and Training Specialist, were invited to present a workshop at the Technical College System of Georgia’s Adult Education Fall Conference. The workshop, “Developing Critical Thinking Skills to Support Persistence,” was well received by attendees.

The workshop focused on teaching critical thinking skills to adult learners at risk of dropping out of adult education programs by using students’ own challenging situations. The new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act recognizes critical thinking as an essential component of work preparation activities. Improvement of these skills benefits at-risk leaners transitioning to work or further education.

Participants were introduced to the Decisions process used by Vita in its literacy program to develop critical thinking skills needed to clarify goals, solve problems, and make decisions that benefits at-risk leaners transitioning to work or further education.

Vita has been teaching its Decisions process to at-risk populations for over forty years. Vita’s decision-making programs are Decisions For Living for incarcerated adults, Decisions For Action for adults in basic education settings, Decisions For Change for adults on probation or parole, and Decisions for Teens for at-risk teens. These unique copyrighted materials are now available for purchase on Vita’s website www.VitaEducation.org