Go Where the People Are
The Spotlight English Club in Kernersville (NC) is growing…but only after sponsors decided to move the meeting place to where the people are!
In January 2011 the North Carolina group launched the Spotlight English Club for immigrants who want to improve their English. They began holding the club meetings at their church, but only one, two or three people came. Marco Segovia, one of the Spotlight English Club coordinators, said, “We had approximately 16 team leaders and volunteers. We realized that this program would be steered by God and we were prepared to take this journey no matter what it took!
The journey took the club to a hair salon owned by Hispanic businesswoman. “We realized the church location was not meeting the needs of the people in the community,” explains Dinene Crater, another North Carolina Spotlight Club leader.
Marco adds, “We asked what we could do differently and what we should be focusing on when spreading the word that we were offering this service. “Our volunteers and core leadership team did not give up hope that people would soon come.”
Marco kept talking about the club with several people in the community, encouraging them to come to the Spotlight English Club, but realized that timing and location was holding them back. He also met with a local Hispanic businesswoman who offered to hold the club at her salon, Peluqueria Y Estetica II. “I knew God had truly provided and guided us to our new location,” he testifies.
The participation and response was amazing! The club now averages between 15-20 students at each meeting. They began holding meetings weekly instead of monthly. The leaders decided to incorporate tutoring and educational activities for children, and currently 12-16 children attend each week.
“We are using our faith and love to help these children in school and grow a bigger support network for them in the community,” says Marco. “Our students love the Spotlight programming. They find it easy to understand and are learning English in a non-traditional, fun way.”
Marco adds, “Our team leaders have found the lessons and worksheets extremely helpful. I keep telling volunteers, ‘You do not need to be a teacher to help with this program. It is so easy to follow you just need to speak English!!’ Our Spotlight Club nights have given students and team leaders an opportunity to bond. Both are learning a lot from one another about culture, language and God's grace. It is wonderful. God's love and guidance has been amazing!”
Marco and Dinene also appreciate the support the group receives from their sponsor, the Fountain of Life Lutheran Church, and their local community. Marco says, “I cannot begin to express how grateful we are to Spotlight for providing us materials to teach from. We are excited and look forward to continue being God's instrument in assisting our neighbors learning English, the American culture, and God's Love.”
The Spotlight English Club ministry would not be possible without the faithful support of many donors. Your donation to the Spotlight ministry will help many learn, not just English, but also the amazing love of God. And if you are interested in starting a Spotlight English Club in your church or community, contact [email protected].