Improving Language Skills with ORT Volunteers

ORT students who have left Ukraine are improving their English language skills via ORT’s Virtual Volunteers. Initiated during the pandemic, the program has been extended to offer educational opportunities to students who have been impacted by the current conflict.
In one case, a teenage ORT student from Kyiv, who is now being hosted by a family in London, has joined online sessions with an ORT supporter, Elda Schwartz, from Baltimore. Mrs. Schwartz shared that she has enjoyed helping the girl during these initial weeks of their conversations together.
“It is hard for me to fathom her knowledge of what is happening in her home country,” she said. “We do not discuss specifics but I ask if she has spoken to her family. They talk every day and they always say they are okay.”
Mrs. Schwartz said the girl was at first quite withdrawn, but the classes seem to be helping. She is an artistic student and is now starting to draw again. Mrs. Schwartz prepares presentations to help with English vocabulary and they watch music videos together.
“I am really fond of her and I think we have a good connection. What is happening in Ukraine is heart-breaking. If I can do this – it is a small token – but it is far more than just ‘English conversation’ classes – it is friendship and caring.”

Elda Schwartz

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