Our Community - Learners

Joann S. Robenolt
LVOY Annual Brunch
March 3, 2012

I would like to be a cook. I would like to learn to make chili, medium and delicious. I like to eat tuna fish casserole. I like to bake pies, apple, pumpkin, rhubarb and peach.

I would like to be better at doing my laundry. I am good at cleaning my apartment. I would like to use a computer.





Marilyn Manson
LVOY Annual Brunch
March 3, 2012

I go to art class on Fridays. This is the biggest picture I have done. I took a large piece of paper. I found pictures I liked of children and animals and mountains and trees and a wall. I used tracing paper to put these pictures on the paper. Then I drew some more children and trees by hand. I colored it in with colored pencil and markers.

I hope you will come look at everything in my picture. Maybe you can make up a story about the children in this picture.

I think the boy who is leaning against the tree is sad or maybe just bored. I love to draw so I put a lot of things in my picture.

The boy can have friends and animals to play with so he will not be bored. And maybe you can find a boy in the picture that is bringing him a wagon of apples. This was a lot of work and I am proud of it.



This essay was written by a Literacy Volunteer of Ontario-Yates County learner who moved to the United States from China. She has been working with her current LVOY tutor since April 2012.

America Dream or Nightmare

With high level and long term unemployment rate, many families have fallen into a very difficult financial situation after they had lost their jobs. Millions of families have lost their homes to foreclosure with broken American dreams. Many people feel like living in a never ending nightmare and there is no one you can turn to.

My husband also lost his job due to the company closing. He worked at GM in New York City. He did bring home a decent check every week. He has decided to open up a business after he sent over four thousand resumes and went through numbers of interviews with no result. He said that he would never worry about losing his job again if he has a company of his own. It was a lot of money and equipment and tools and times involved. My husband has invested all his time 24/7, days and nights as well as using all our money for his business. But it is not easy to run a business. I was totally crushed after he came home at 3 o’clock in the morning and got up very early morning to go to work again. It had been too many hours and the amount of money he made didn’t even cover the money on gas. To be clear, his business has been bleeding heavily. At some point in time, he needs to borrow some money in order to pay for labor. Many days, He worked very long hours without eating just because he was too busy as well as trying to save some money. Should I tell him that life is very expensive so please stop working so hard at losing money, or should I tell him to follow your dream no matter what?

Although we qualify for food stamps, it is not enough to cover all the food bill. I have no choice but to go to the food cupboard and I didn’t want to go there at all. It is so embarrassing. I feel myself and my husband are kind of losers. I feel that it is not different from being a beggar who is digging food from trash or begging for food. We all very well educated and we still are not yet too old to get jobs. There are no doubts about my husband being a very hard worker. He is trying to provide everything for a family and children through his work. But it is not looking possible.

Many people are wondering if the American economy as well as the American dream are crushed. I don’t know the answer. We are just one of many American families who are struggling in the economic financial crisis.

What I can see is that there are so many people with gentle hearts who are pulling together to help others who are misfortunate while many other people are yelling and complaining and giving up their hopes.

The Food Cupboard is one of the places where food is provided to low income families. It is well organized with many dedicated people who treat you with respect. The difference from other companies is that it is non-profit and their people are volunteers; in other words, they are working for free. They are receiving numbers of donations in the food cupboard daily as well as going to the stores to collect food donations several times per week.

Open your eyes, you will be surprised that there are numbers of people and companies from the churches, neighborhoods and schools who are donating their money and food every day just to help other people. They are doing this not just for a single day but all year long and it will continue. You are not forgotten and alone at the bottom of the world even when you have fallen into a very difficult situation. You know there is still hope when so many people are there to help.

A country who maintains love and caring will never sink. The soul of all these people will maintain and fulfill the American dream in the whole country as well as have impact all around the world.