March 2010 – Our ELL Team

March 1, 2010 | 826 Blog Post

ELL Team

Our ELL Team!

Electronic Lightning Lasers? Engineered Laboratory Lifeforms? Endearing, Loved Labradors?


Our Volunteers of the Month are none of these things! In fact, an acronym as short as ELL could never contain their munificent magnificence. B.O.R.G.O.T.R.O.N.S. might be more apt: Brilliant Originators of Revolutionary Gumption, Operating Tremendously in the Realm of Overseeing and Nurturing Students. Yes, dear reader, the Volunteers of the Month are BORGOTRONS!

Believe us when we say we could write for eons about the good things that the BORGOTRONS do for 826michigan. We will attempt the writing in a fraction of an eon.

The BORGOTRONS are the volunteers who make our delightful, ever-growing, high-energy drop-in ELL (English Language Learners) program so delightful, ever-growing, and high-energy! They have names, and here they are:

  • Abby Bennett
  • Ana Iacob
  • Catherine Calabro
  • Corey Blant
  • Christy Connelly
  • Dan Newman
  • Derek Peterson
  • Eden Litt
  • Eric Canosa
  • Kathryn Riddle
  • Kati Shanks
  • Katie Lacy
  • Margot Reynolds
  • Paul Williams
  • Peter Stern
  • Rachel Resin
  • Sarah Dawn Johnson
  • Yael Kiken

You might notice that many of these LOVELY people are former Volunteers of the Month. In fact, you might say that ELL has a “star-studded” cast, but that wouldn’t be wholly accurate. ELL is actually comprised entirely of stars and studs.

The BORGOTRONS come in every Saturday to work with English Language Learners from all over the area, and they do it with inspiring enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication. Generally it works like this:

A senior member of ELL sends out the volunteer email each week. This email contains notes about the previous session, ideas for the next session, and robot tropes. The BORGOTRONS chatter away on the email thread until Friday rolls around. On Friday, ELL usually has their Very Magical lesson planning session. The BORGOTRONS gather to drink tea, listen to Eric’s puns (again), and Google search terms such as “robot ESL.” Eventually a lesson plan is made, high fives are shared, and Saturday morning is anxiously awaited.

At 11:30 on Saturday, the BORGOTRONS meet at 826 toshare coffee and baked goods as they prepare for the lesson at hand. Then, from 12pm to 1pm, the lesson is on! Previous lessons have included grammatical concepts, rain-forest animals, or robotic Valentine’s Day cards. They are always fun, the ratio of students to instructors is always amenable, and everyone learns a lot! ELL serves students from all over the world, including Europe, India, and the Far East. Some of them like to write stories about ponies, while others draw pictures of fire ants riding little leaf-boats. Trust us, it’s as charming as it sounds.

BORGOTRONS, what we’re trying to say is that we love what you do, and we’re sure you love doing it. Thank you so much for everything!

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