• 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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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


Volunteer Appreciation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADuring the week of April 12-18 we celebrate our Volunteers. Here at LIS we are gifted by “giving hearts” of 25 volunteers.

Our volunteers share their talents and give help to our students in English, Math, Children’s RoomOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA and Computer Lab. The volunteer works with an individual or a small group of students. The teacher lines up the activities and work that they will do with each student.

Enjoy looking at the pictures of some of the work volunteers do here.

If you want to know more about volunteering at LIS feel free to e-mail or call.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

jbakssnd@gmail.com  612-8701815 (LIS)

(Judy Bakula, Volunteer Coordinator)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Health Fair

Health Fair8Learning In Style School held a Health Fair on Thursday, February 26th, 2015 to bring various organizations that work with immigrants and refugee populations on health care issues. It included the Minnesota Department of Health, who provided information about immunization and vaccination to our students. In addition, the Neighborhood Health Fair4Healthsource Clinic presenters brought much helpful information about preventative health issues such as diabetes and cancer screening. Many of our students were able to learn about diabetes and get diabetic screening done from the St.Mary’s Health Clinic. The participants found the health fair informative and fun!

Author: Norzin

Sewnet: New U.S. Citizen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASewnet moved to Minnesota with her son Abereham in 2010 to join her husband. As a determined ESL student her goal was to become a US citizen. Her two sons have been part of our Children’s Room while Sewnet faithfully studied her English and took Citizenship class. It has paid off! On January 20, 2015 she participated in the Citizenship Ceremony at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul where 147 new citizens from 47 countries took the oath of allegiance.

Congratulations, Sewnet!

Author: Esther