Local Spanish teacher aids city’s immigrants

News August 13, 2014 0 Comments

Elizabeth Wood, fifth from left, holding a gift bag, with SSJ Welcome Center clients (photo courtesy of SSJ Welcome Center)

Elizabeth Wood, fifth from left, holding a gift bag, with SSJ Welcome Center clients (photo courtesy of SSJ Welcome Center)

Teaching Norwood-Fontbonne Academy’s signature Spanish curriculum to sixth through eighth graders is just one of the many ways Elizabeth Wood lives out her passion for the Spanish language and culture.

As a Norwood-Fontbonne Academy (NFA) alumnus, Wood is right at home in her grade school alma mater where she graduated in 1999 before heading to Mount St. Joseph Academy and then to St. Joseph’s University, all the while expanding her Spanish knowledge and fluency.

“I was first introduced to the Spanish language and culture during my years at NFA,” she explained. “The school’s commitment to service further expanded my awareness of others, especially those of Hispanic heritage.”

That passion has never left her and is a central reason she has found herself back at NFA, as well as inspiring her to give back to a special literacy project outside of NFA.

Over the past nine years, Wood has been a volunteer at the Sisters of Saint Joseph (SSJ) Welcome Center in the Kensington section of Philadelphia where she also serves on the advisory board. The facility, a sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph (Chestnut Hill), serves the immigrant population in urban Philadelphia through English classes, computer training, and citizenship preparation. In SSJ language, those served are kindly referred to as “dear neighbors.”

This summer, Wood taught a computer class to a group of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Morocco, helping them learn things such as proper use of the mouse, keyboard skills, MS Word document and resume writing, as well as Internet and iPad use.

“I am thrilled to be a part of a greater effort that enables our newest ‘dear neighbors’ to seek the proper path to becoming a United States citizen,” said Wood. “It is my joy to be able to use my Spanish fluency to serve others.”

Want to support the Local? Join the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Membership helps fund what we do. Join today.