During COVID, Diana and Beverley Made Their Own Outdoor Classroom

October 27, 2022

Post image for During COVID, Diana and Beverley Made Their Own Outdoor Classroom

Pictured left to right above are Diana and Beverley.

This feature was submitted by AACLC Tutor Diana Dinsick.

Well before the COVID lockdown, Glen Burnie resident Beverley Morris, now aged 70, took a courageous step. Having spoken only Jamaican patois for most of her life, she vowed to work on improving her English and reading skills. That’s when she and volunteer ESL tutor Diana Dinsick began regular meetings at the Glen Burnie Library. The duo was making progress — and then COVID struck. Tutoring sessions ground to a halt when local libraries restricted visitation. Come warm weather, though, Beverley and Diana found a solution. They set up soccer chairs in a grassy area behind the Glen Burnie library and made their own classroom. And when the library again opened to the public, Beverley was thrilled to resume a full schedule.
“I’m hungry for it,” she offers by way of explanation.
“Beverley is a trooper,” says Diana. “What I respect most about her is her thirst for education. She studies on her own and watches the news to keep informed on current affairs.”
Beverley has already learned new skills. She can text her loved ones and feels better equipped to handle everyday challenges such as medical appointments. And sometimes she surprises herself. Two years ago, upon becoming a new great-grandmother, Beverley decided she wanted to be able to read to her great-grandson. And at a recent tutoring session, Beverley picked up a children’s book. She read it aloud with very little assistance. After which, she looked up at Diana, a bemused expression on her face. “I’m reading!” she said.

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