• Learning in Style

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


    Learning in Style follows the Minneapolis Public School Schedule. Our first semester runs from September 2, 2014 to December 19, 2014.

  • 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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LIS Students Visit MIA

On May 3 seven students and their teacher went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art to see the special ART IN BLOOM show. MIA had bouquets of flowers to look like works of art. The following are some of the reflections from individual students regarding the experience. MIA is in the neighborhood, within walking distance from Learning In Style

My experience was amazing—floral design with different kinds of flowers. I like everything in that art center and I will visit it again to know more about everything because I like history. I liked walking in the museum and taking some pictures, seeing different things. There were a lot of stairs and I was a little tired but I enjoyed visiting it.

The flower show was very attractive. There was a beautiful water fountain decorated with pretty flowers. We saw a woman who wore a hat with different kinds and colors of flowers. People at the desk wore flowers. There were combinations of beautiful bouquets with paintings or statues. But there were some bouquets that didn’t match with the artwork.

That day we saw a lot of people. They were students, tourists, children, seniors, adults and teenagers. I had a wonderful time and I would like to go back to the MIA.


Teacher Mary Lang

Year of Peace at Learning in Style

It is noble to think of bringing about PEACE in our shattered world. It is more noble to do something to bring it about. A LIS PEACE committee met in September 2014 to shape what we can do in school to bring about a consciousness that PEACE is a possibility in our own lives. Staff promoted mantras for the month, a song of PEACE, SALAM, SHALOM, posters illustrating desires and instances of PEACE making. The Children’s Room made doves to hang near the doors. In addition, the windows in the Great Room focused on PEACE between persons, you and me.

“The work of PEACE is kindness, compassion, forgiveness.

My PEACE to you, your PEACE to me.”

Here are some things we remembered:

Peace begins with a smile. Peace is our gift to each other.

Peacemakers speak only well of others. “Salaam” is given to all.

Peace is life-giving.         Peace is serenity, inner calm.

I am happy for you. Be happy in the good fortune of another.

To bless is to speak well to another. Peacemakers build bridges.

Peace comes when we feel accepted, understood, loved.

May Peace be in our hearts, in our world, in our universe.

Our school’s PEACE Pole was installed May 2014. A like ceremony will renew the memory in May 2015. And, as the PEACE Pole reminds us, “May Peace prevail on earth today.”

There is a new document, hand printed, framed and hung at our door’s entrance. It speaks to the desire of our immigrants to be accepted, to be at PEACE in our country’s world and it is a statement of LIS’s belief regarding immigrants. The full version of that document is included below.


Teacher Mary Lang

We are here.

We are here with an open mind and heart,

Not an open hand.

We are here to give.

To add value.

To be inspired.

To inspire.

We are here to start a small business,

Write a song, find a cure, open a law firm,

Become a teacher, discover a new star,

Bring home a gold medal,

Develop new technologies and so much more—

If you give us the chance.

We are the same as every immigrant

Who has come before us.

Filled with dreams.

Determined to contribute.

See our potential.

We are all here.

And our story is an American story.

CLIMB Theater at LIS

“One, two three – action!” This is the signal to the students at LIS that the play is about to begin. The scene may be in a doctor’s office, in a bank, in a store, the office of a landlord, at the job placement center, or in an elementary school with the teacher of their child.

From January through May of this school year and from September through January of the next school year, through a grant from the Arts, CLIMB Theater is visiting each classroom at our school.   To the weekly classes Annie and Scott, CLIMB’s actors, bring vocabulary and pictures, creating a scene for the day using students’ experience, a role-playing scene, and sometimes improvising a scene. Students are performing on their feet, enjoying their acting abilities. Engagement and delight has them wanting more.

CLIMB’s mission is: to create and perform plays, classes, and other creative works that inspire and propel people – especially young people – toward actions that benefit themselves, each other, and the community. LIS students have responded to this opportunity with enthusiasm, eagerly participating in role playing and enjoying learning to speak with confidence for themselves in the real life situations they face.

This summer, as a gift to our students, CLIMB will provide us with a number of tickets to several performances at some of the local theaters, introducing the students to live theater. We are enjoying this new partnership.


Mary Lang, Agnes

Congratulations! Monica St. Germain is awarded Honorable Mention for Outstanding Volunteer Award!

How long has this volunteer been involved in your organization?

Monica began volunteering in Sept., 2013.

How did she first become involved with your literacy program?

Monica had just retired from the business world and was looking for a new ministry to be involved in. Her husband knew one of the teachers at Learning-in-Style, Esther, who then invited her to come and see our work with immigrants. Monica came immediately, began volunteering one day a week, and was soon coming every day.

What are this volunteer’s current roles in your program?

Monica has recently filled a need in our school by opening two new classes for students on the waiting list. They meet four mornings a week. She continues to volunteer one afternoon a week, and often subs for teachers in the afternoons.

In what way is this volunteer’s involvement in your program unique, innovative or creative? Please as thorough as possible. Provide examples and other evidence (stories, quotes, student data) whenever possible.

Monica will help students at any level, sometimes without notice.   She will go wherever needed very graciously, and do an excellent job. Her fine coaching has empowered students to try, speak, write, or do whatever was the task. Monica has great respect for each student and their needs. They love her!

She affirms them all the time.

What personal characteristics and/or teaching methods make her a successful volunteer? Please provide stories or examples whenever possible.

Monica is a “natural-born teacher”! she worked on skills that helped students advance a level on the CASAS test. She brought in additional materials or experiences to enhance her teaching, like baking a cake after students read the story of “Thunder Cake”.   An example: Amina came to our school at a pre-literate level.   Monica worked tirelessly to introduce the concept of sound/letter correspondence, and because of this instruction, Amina was able to begin reading by using her decoding skills.

Briefly describe the learners this volunteer has helped, including specific learner accomplishments.

Monica has worked with all levels in our program from 0 to 5+ from many cultural backgrounds.   She enjoyed working one-to-one to assist students in whatever they’d like to learn. Monica has been able to open windows of learning on all levels, from writing the alphabet to understanding insurance forms. Because she has used “hands-on” activities, students were able to grasp concepts more easily.   She helped with English, math, computer, and citizenship.

Additional Comments:

Monica is extremely generous, capable, reliable, and gracious. She fits into our staff very well. She relates to the students with respect, patience, and expertise.   She adapts her lessons to include important life skills at all levels.   She has actively engaged students in conversation in order to help them advance their speaking and listening skills.   The students are always happy to see her because she believes in making the world a better place by doing what she does, and she has made our school a better place.

Author: Connie


I was getting my class ready for a new unit about work and jobs.

I cut out pictures from magazines of various jobs, trying to get as many multicultural pictures as I could find. I brought them to class for the students  IMG_2873to look at and discuss.

One picture was a double: the left side showed Costa Rica and a banana plantation with workers growing bananas; the right side showed Uganda, with some bicyclists delivering bananas.

All of a sudden I heard a student, Abdisalaam, say very excitedly, “Teacher, this is my home country!   This is my home road!   I know this road! I drove a truck on this road for eight years!!” He showed all the other students and told them all about his experiences as a truck driver. All the students pored over the pictures looking for “their home countries”!   Some other students actually found their countries, others found similar cultures/jobs.

This will lead into learning about jobs in America, and what they dream of doing someday, what skills they have or need for certain jobs, what jobs they hope for their children to have someday. Grammar, reading, and writing are incorporated in our learning about how to apply for jobs, go for an interview, develop good working habits, and more.

Don’t we all love to see or hear about places we’ve lived in the past?!

Memories shared make for great discussion and learning.

Teacher Connie