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DAIGA: 'Grandma! I can understand you!'

Daiga Pluceja loved her beautiful farm in Latvia, but her life there ended when her husband passed away. She moved to Williamsburg to join her daughter and care for her grandchildren, but she spoke little English, “just thank you and bye-bye.”

When Daiga enrolled at Literacy for Life, she found more than English class. “It’s my other family.” She was matched with Kim Shannon—“my tutor and best friend” – who helped her practice English and study for the driver’s exam. “You can take the exam in all languages,” Daiga laughs, “but not Latvian.” She passed on her first try.

Today, Daiga helps her grandson with virtual school. “He’s just 6, but he understands that I speak better now. He says, ‘Grandma, you read very well. I can understand you!’” Daiga’s future goals include citizenship and employment. “The United States helps me. I want to be an American,” she says. “I can start with some easy job. When my English is better, I want to earn some certification.”

Daiga said she is grateful for Literacy for Life. “It is a very good place for people from other countries. Teachers and staff understand us well. When we come to Literacy for Life, we feel safe.”

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