Innovative Wake Tech Volunteer Honored at Statewide Conference

Mary McLaurin, Volunteer of the Year Winner

August 11th, 2011





Mary McLaurin, Volunteer of the Year Winner
Dr. Randy Whitfield, Mary McLaurin, Volunteer of the Year Winner, Dean Susan Payne, Instructor Susan Ballard

Mary McLaurin Praised for Unique, Musical Teaching Method

RALEIGH, N.C. (August 11, 2011) - Mary McLaurin, a volunteer in the English as a Second Language program at Wake Technical Community College, has been named North Carolina's Basic Skills Volunteer of the Year by the NC Community College System. McLaurin was recognized during the recent statewide Basic Skills Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center.

McLaurin brings exceptional creativity and innovation to the ESL classroom. For example, to help students grasp the intricacies of vocabulary and pronunciation, McLaurin often sets language exercises to music! She strums her guitar, leads students in song, and helps them write lyrics. Her methods have proven extremely effective and become so popular that she was the inspiration for a class known simply as "The Music Class." Some students who may struggle with writing sentences are able to complete full paragraphs as a result of the music-based lessons.

"We congratulate Mary on this important honor and on her generous and enthusiastic service," says Dr. Stephen Scott, Wake Tech President. "We depend on dedicated volunteers like Mary to help Wake Tech improve literacy levels and job skills in the community we serve."

McLaurin has volunteered at Wake Tech for 11 years, logging in 200 hours in the past year alone. Last year, 120 volunteers contributed 3,500 hours to help students in Wake Tech's Basic Skills programs. The annual Basic Skills Volunteer of the Year award was established in memory of Angela Moore Trogdon, a long-time advocate of Basic Skills education in North Carolina. McLaurin received a $100 award and a plaque of recognition.

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