My daughter and her husband introduced me to an expression they had coined to capture the moment that Divine intervention takes place, and you come to understand that a higher power is guiding the way. This idea that God taps you on the shoulder, gives a wink and guides the way is an incredible blessing and has led me to The Opening Word.
One day, I saw a small announcement in the church bulletin about The Opening Word Program. I was intrigued.
I had retired from teaching and missed being in the classroom. I harbored a growing frustration toward people who didn’t speak English.
Wink! Here was an opportunity to combine my talents and work toward my prejudice.
As a high school English teacher, I taught my students to appreciate the beauty and richness of the English language as expressed in literature. It is only through a common language that one can experience the literature and history of a country and then absorb that country as one’s own. I couldn’t understand why one would not speak English if he has chosen to live here. So I decided to act on my feelings and called to meet with Sisters Judy and Fran and see what The Opening Word was all about. How glad I am that I did!
Right from the beginning, I knew The Opening Word was where I wanted to be. I love my language, and I love meeting the ladies and hearing their stories. I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the beginning steps and sacrifices of all the immigrants who have come to America through the years. I love teaching the women and seeing the progress they make. I love that we are mothers, wives, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, friends- women helping women to succeed in this world. God saw my dilemma, and put me in the place and time to make a choice. Thank you God for that wink!
KAROLIN ACUNTO comes to Huntington Station twice a week to work as part of the volunteer team.
“It gives me a lift, and is so satisfying to see the progress of so many!” she states enthusiastically.
Karolin’s background in Special Education, with a strong emphasis on reading skills, led her to offer her services, not only to the regular classroom students, but also to several of the women who had no formal education. They were unable to read even in their own language. Karolin adds, “Whatever progress they make enriches their lives and self-esteem. I find all the women incredibly motivated and supportive of each other in the program.”