ARIZONA NEWS

Off Central: Retired Phoenix teacher giving English lessons to workers

Nov 18, 2016, 5:49 AM
A group works on English lessons at Fellowship Square in Phoenix. Retired Central High School teach...
A group works on English lessons at Fellowship Square in Phoenix. Retired Central High School teacher Joyce Sanders, who began the courses, declined to be photographed for this story. (KTAR Photo/Kathy Cline)
(KTAR Photo/Kathy Cline)

PHOENIX — Dozens of foreign-born workers at a Phoenix care home can now speak English thanks to a local teacher.

Retired Central High School teacher Joyce Sanders came to Fellowship Square — an assisted-living facility for seniors — in 2002.

She said many of the home’s workers could understand English. However, they refused to speak it, thinking it wasn’t good enough to understand.

Sander’s sister proposed a solution not long after they moved in: “Joyce, get off of that couch – and why don’t you just go teach these kids English?”

Although she’d never taught a language — Sanders said her Central High career was in physical education and social studies — she agreed the English class was a good idea. She got permission and some financial help from the Fellowship Square administration, and things took off from there.

She remembered her first student like it was yesterday.

“One of the young ladies, who was a housekeeper, had come to Phoenix as a refugee out of Bosnia,” she said. “… She had spent six years in Germany, learning what she thought was English.”

And another group of students asked for help in becoming U.S. citizens. They came to her, Sanders said, with one question: “’Teacher, can you help me pass the test?'”

“I said yes. We had 14 [workers] that I was responsible for getting their citizenship.”

Sanders retired from her second teaching career in 2012. Fellowship Square is still teaching English to its workers, though, every Tuesday afternoon.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(City of Mesa Photo)...
SuElen Rivera

Academy Award-winning actor Troy Kotsur receives key to city of Mesa

Academy Award-winning actor Troy Kotsur was given a key to the city of Mesa on Thursday at an event with family, friends and supporters.
9 hours ago
(Twitter photo / @ArizonaDOT)...
KTAR.com

Crash on I-17 in Phoenix hospitalizes 5, closes freeway for several hours

A vehicle collision on southbound Interstate 17 near Loop 101 and Bell Road sent five people to the hospital and closed a freeway in north Phoenix on Thursday evening for hours.
9 hours ago
(Twitter Photo / @SecretaryPete)...
Balin Overstolz McNair

Downtown and south Phoenix to connect with major investment

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced millions in funding for Arizona from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and grant money at a Phoenix event Thursday.
9 hours ago
(Facebook Photo / Maricopa County Animal Care and Control)...
Alex Weiner

Maricopa County shelters at max capacity, in need of pet adoptions

The Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelters are at maximum capacity and are looking for residents to adopt or foster animals.
9 hours ago
(Getty Images Photos)...
KTAR.com

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around metro Phoenix for Aug. 12-14

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of Aug. 12-14.
9 hours ago
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)...
KTAR.com

Maricopa County Sheriff Penzone says election security plan will go up ‘notch’ in fall

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said after a successful security undertaking in the primary, his office will use much the same plan for the November general election.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Off Central: Retired Phoenix teacher giving English lessons to workers