VEP fulfills an unspoken mandate in the Chester County community to welcome any and all immigrants and refugees who seek to empower themselves through English language skills and American cultural understanding.
VEP is unique because of its one-to-one, student goal-centered approach to learning English and our American culture. The program supports all language speakers, upwards to 30 of the 58 spoken in Chester County alone. The program meets students wherever they are on the path of literacy and proficiency, regardless of income or residency status.
One of the hallmarks of the program is its community-based, non-classroom approach available seven days a week, morning to evening, including weekends. The model respects adults who need to learn at a location easily accessible to work or home and at times conducive to their busy lives. The 365-day approach to learning provides consistent engagement which helps to ensure student progress.
Concurrently, VEP staff recruit, train, and prepare more than 100 new community volunteers as tutors each year through a series of seven, nine-hour workshops that are held in locations throughout the county, convenient to where volunteers live and/or work.
Volunteer English Program in Chester County
2017 – 2020 Strategic Plan
The 2017 – 2020 Strategic Plan guides the Volunteer English Program (VEP) in pursuit of its mission.
The Volunteer English Program connects volunteers with adult English language learners to provide one-to-one tutoring and cultural enrichment that empowers immigrants to be successful.
In all of our work and interactions, we seek to be welcoming, compassionate, understanding, and inspired. These guiding principles shape our work.
We welcome newcomers from all countries.
We work in solidarity with immigrants to achieve their goals and aspirations.
We enhance the understanding and acceptance of diverse cultures and people.
We are inspired by the idea that we can change the world one person at a time, starting within our own communities.
VEP Adult Learners or Students have multiple roles in the community.
These roles make participating in traditional classroom education a challenge. While they want to pursue learning English, there are many demands on their time and focus. They are hard-working and courageous. They demonstrate a desire to learn English and American culture.
VEP adult learners often wait many months to be introduced to a compatible tutor. They recognize that learning this new language is not easy.
Generally speaking, adult learners want to learn English so they can understand and be understood. They want to be more successful in all areas of their lives.
VEP Students are:
1. Men (20%) and Women (80%).
2. Adults ranging in age from 18 to 80+ years.
3. Speakers of 30 different languages. Many report that while 4. 4. English is a new language, it is often a second or third known language depending on their country of origin.
5. Natives of over 42 countries from 11 regions of the world.
6. Asylees and refugees resettling in the United States from war-torn and economically challenged countries.
7. Newly arrived (from mere days) as well as long-time residents in the United States (upwards of 25 years).
8. Naturalized citizens of the United States.
9. Regional employees.
10.Our neighbors, co-workers, local business owners, health care professionals, children’s teachers, and friends.