Forty-nine years ago this week, nine-year-old Glaucia Pilarski immigrated to America from Brazil. Like many children growing up in newly-arrived families, she learned English in school and by playing with her friends. Her parents had few opportunities to build their language skills in English – they were busy working new jobs to support Glaucia and her siblings.
When she was 10, Glaucia’s father was injured in an accident. Her parents were unable to understand the medical professionals, insurance claim representatives, and lawyers who all became involved in this family crisis.
Young Glaucia was asked to help translate information for her parents. “I felt responsible to get the information correct,” she recalls. “It was very stressful to be put in this situation.”
This experience and others in her life as an immigrant have led Glaucia to support the hard work of adults learning English as a second language. She enthusiastically attends Literacy Network events and has recently become a monthly donor to Literacy Network’s programs. “I wish there had been a program like this for my parents when we were new to America. It allows kids to stay kids when parents can speak and access information for themselves. I appreciate the way Literacy Network improves the quality of life for the whole family.”