Meet Patricia Johnson
ESL Conversation Club
You know by Patricia Johnson’s ready smile and friendly tilt of the head that she is the kind of volunteer to put everyone at ease, a handy skill when working with Library patrons as they practise their English language skills.
“Being a Library volunteer suits me,” says Patricia who works at the University of Calgary library. “I have a great day job, but volunteering is often the highlight of my week. I work alongside other great volunteers, helping people develop a skill they will use for the rest of their lives. What could be better!”
The ESL Conversation Club is offered at 15 community libraries, supports 1,900+ patrons each year, and puts volunteers together with participants looking to improve their one-on-one conversation and group speaking abilities. Patricia has volunteered at a number of community libraries, but considers Louise Riley her home base.
The program makes use of modules, but Patricia says that she and the other volunteers like to shake things up by really personalizing the program for the participants.
“We make use of word searches and crossword puzzles, but getting the group to talk about events or issues relevant to them engages everyone in more meaningful ways,” she shared. “Stampede and Canada Day are great conversation starters and, recently, with three of our participants expecting, childrearing came up quite often.”
It’s that personal approach and dedication that has Library staff describe Patricia as rock solid, dedicated, fun loving,and as someone with enormous energy. She brings all of these qualities to bear on her volunteer efforts at the Library.
But for Patricia, volunteering at the Library is very personal. “I love helping others, making new friends, and being part of something bigger than myself. Volunteering at the Library gives me all that and more.”
If you’d like to join the Library’s team of volunteers at ESL Conversation Club or at a wide variety of other programs, please apply online or call Volunteer Resources at 403.260.2632.