Literacy Specialist Jessica Blundell leads a workshop about transcending differences.

Our volunteers and students come from a variety of circumstances. A twenty-something tech professional from Pacific Heights might be working with a 3rd-grade, would-be-first-generation-college-graduate from Bayview, or a retiree from the North Beach might be tutoring a 6th-grade English Language Learner in the Mission.

While part of the beauty of San Francisco is that it’s a place where people from many different backgrounds can come together, sometimes situations come up that can be tough to handle. Like how can a literacy volunteer best explain the differences between grammar used at school and language used at home or with friends (sometimes known as code-switching)? What about respecting cultural norms for eye contact and facial expressions?

Last year, we hosted a popular workshop about how volunteers can connect to students from a variety of cultures. We’re bringing it back so more of our volunteers can learn tips and skills for navigating across differences and those who attended last year can continue the conversation.

Jessica Blundell, a Literacy Specialist at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School and doctoral candidate in International and Multicultural Studies at the University of San Francisco, will cover topics like privilege, code-switching and cultural advantages. She will also go over strategies you can put into practice when situations come up.

Transcending Cultural Differences: Working with Students from Diverse Backgrounds
When: Thursday, February 18th (6-8 p.m.)
Where: San Francisco Education Fund Offices (2730 Bryant Street, Second Floor)                 Sign up here

A light meal will be provided.

This workshop is relevant for tutors or mentors who work with PK-12 students. Some of the sample scenarios will focus on literacy tutoring but will be applicable to a variety of situations. The event is for volunteers who have already received training and have been placed within our 116 SFUSD schools. Not yet a volunteer with the San Francisco Education Fund? Sign up here to let us know you’re interested in volunteering.