• Learning in Style

    2200 Nicollet Avenue South
    Minneapolis, MN 55404
    Phone 612-870-1815
    Fax 612-871-7370

    Monday-Thursday
    9:00am–4:00pm
    Friday
    9:00am–2:30pm

  • Our Mission

    Since 1994 Learning in Style has provided a rich learning experience for newcomers to the Twin Cities community. Our emphasis at Learning in Style is on building literacy and citizenship skills in a supportive, affordable and respectful environment that is open to all who want to learn. In both mission and ministry, Learning in Style functions from within the charism, tradition and expertise of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates of the St. Paul Province. Classes are offered at no cost to students.

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Celebrating Our Diversity

 

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Students come every day into our building and head to class but since January 1st the halls, the ceilings, the walls, the doorways, the window ledges, everywhere you look there is something new!

There is a reason to stop and look and to appreciate before heading to class. We are celebrating our diversity, celebrating that all the students here come from some other place in the world, with languages and customs unique to that country.
IMG_1951The bare tree in the entry is now decorated with snowflakes, each in a different language represented by a current student, saying “hello” and “thank you.” The hall ceilings have flags from home countries, the walls have articles of clothing contributed by students – clothing that is ablaze with color, intricate patterns, delicate DSC_0326stitching. Decorative fabrics are draped throughout, as well as baskets, drums, wooden calendars, and numerous other objects of art, displayed for all to see.

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Cultural Day at LIS started almost 20 years ago and began as an end of the year party. The staff provided all the food and suggested that the students dress in clothing native to their home countries. There were decorations and lots food and time to celebrate. Soon, students asked to bring food that they enjoyed and everyone learned what a treat it was. The decorations originally were those already on display in the building. Now students have more of a role, an ownership in the day – all adding to the enjoyment.

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Celebrating earlier, like in the middle of dreary days in winter, has been a welcome change this year. What hasn’t changed is the opportunity to experience through food, atmosphere and laughter and good conversation what a wonderful group of people are gathered within our walls each year and what a privilege it is to take the time to share.

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Click here for additional pictures of Cultural Day!

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LIS Students Respond to Laudato Si – Care for the Environment

Students at LIS are learning practical means of caring for the environment.  The inspiration for this learning activity is Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si (translated ‘Praise be to You, my Lord’).

Teachers Mary Lorentz, Mary Lang, Theresa Guenther and Donna Wermus are developing learning activities that address respect for water, land, and recycling.  This curriculum is being used in all the classes.

The first activity, Respect for Water, has been completed.  Students were taught to be aware and encouraged to take action to conserve water whenever possible.  Some suggested ways were:  Take shorter showers, turn off water while brushing teeth, use the washing machine only when there is a full load.

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Everyone was given a “home” sheet to work as a family, as they find ways to save water.  Each week for a period of six weeks LIS students placed a paper water drop on a chart in the main hallway after they told their class what they did to conserve water that week.  This chart serves as a visual reminder of the importance of conserving water.

The next activity is ‘Reuse and Recycle.’  It will begin in February.

 

 

 

Sponsor A Family MN Spreads Holiday Cheer

This past weekend, 178 students at LIS as well as many others in the Twin Cities received holiday gifts thanks to Sponsor A Family MN.    In total, Sponsor a Family MN provided gifts for 566 families (3000+ individuals!!)

This wonderful event was made possible with generous donors and dedicated volunteers.

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The Clothes Closet: An CSJ Ministry Extension

 

indexI met a volunteer recently who works in the Clothes Closet, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph located at 2200 Nicollet Avenue.  The Clothes Closet is a place where students at LIS as well as others in the neighborhood can come to get free clothes or small household items.  It is open from 11:00 – 2:00 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The volunteer and I began a discussion that went like this:

Teacher Connie:  I really appreciate the work you do out there, but aren’t you cold working in the garage today?

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Where in the world ….

 

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Students at LIS are from the far reaching corners of the earth. Each student has their own unique immigration story. The dots on the map above indicate the students’ country of origin.

This year, the 215 students at LIS come from 20 different countries: Benin, Brazil, China, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Tibet, Togo, and Vietnam.

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Students in Esther Wagner’s English classes are writing a story entitled, “My Life.” This exercise is giving students practice in  sentence structure and proper grammar. When the stories are finished each student will share their story with the class. In addition to developing writing and grammar skills this exercise will help students get to know each other a little better.

All with the desire to learn are welcome!