This church assists our immigrant neighbors by providing classes in English as a Second Language. Most lessons happen online via Zoom.  We have classes 4 days and 4 evenings during the week.  Each class is typically 2 hours long and most students attend 2 classes a week.  Many students attend more than 2 classes.  Working with the Literacy Council Wilco we provide material for all of our students to use at home and during our classes. 

Anyone can learn to be an ESL teacher.  You can teach one or two days a week. As long as you speak English, and like people, there is a role for you to help.  IF you would like to observe a class please contact  Mary Hengstebeck.

The students show their appreciation in many ways.  Jesus wrote us a poem

Driven to Success: ESL Students

On the road trip of life, we are often lucky enough to come across people who fill our near-empty tanks with inspiration. Sometimes it’s in the news, and sometimes it’s in a film or book. But sometimes, it’s in the hopeful face across the desk from you.

The students’ motivation to succeed is obvious in the dedication they demonstrate in coming to class regularly and the motives that compel them to do so. Many students must carve out time from their busy lives to attend as many as 3 to 5 classes per week. Students from 19 different countries faithfully gather during the week to make meaningful connections. They are eager to make friends, to learn the conversations skills necessary to effectively communicate with their children’s teachers, their doctors, their communities. For some, success is found in being able to tell stories about their weekly encounters with others using the “First, then, and finally” construct.

As a way of celebrating the strides made by our driven ESL students, each session concludes with a party. Students bring friends and family to celebrate completing 10 weeks of instruction. We enjoy games, good food, and music. The end-of-session party is an opportunity for our students to acknowledge their own accomplishments, as well as those of their classmates. It is a time to congratulate each other and offer encouragement for future endeavors. This would be a great time for you and your family to come and meet these wonderful people and wish them continued success on their individual journeys.

Literacy Council Support Certificate

The Literacy Council of Williamson County made a presentation to the Leander City Council and gave them a certificate for their support of literacy by providing space. The Live Oak ESL team are providing the volunteers. The picture includes Mary Hengstebeck, the Mayor of Leander, Robert Pinhero, and the director of Parks and Recreation.

Literacy Support Certificate

Mission Statement:

Teaching every day English to adults who speak another language.

2021 Monthly Reports



  • 2 of our students are studying to become citizens
  • 1 of our students has been accepted into HVAC class.  I will be meeting him via Zoom to help with the electrical symbols and other terms not familiar to him.  He shared that when he was offered a job he wanted at his company he turned it down because it is a night shift job and he doesn’t want to drop his ESL and HVAC class.  He is hoping the same job will become available for the day shift.
  • Next week is our last week of classes.  The week after that we have parties.
  • Our January classes will start 1/10.  Plan to have in-person and some zoom classes (we currently have 64 students and 22 of them are out of area.  
  • I will be trying to recruit more people to listen via Zoom to students reading Raz-Plus books so we can offer both in person and Zoom classes.


  • We have 56 students and I will be testing 3 more this weekend
  • We have 4 South Western University students who observe and one who also listens to students read Raz-Plus stories on an evening when I have to switch between levels (due to lack of full time teachers)
  • A previous teacher recruited some volunteers.  Most are observing but one is teaching.
  • We have 3 students studying to become U.S citizens
  • I sent 370 text to former and current local students about Heating and Air Conditioning Vocational training and a number of students are being evaluated to see if they can join the class
  • We have a tentative Literacy Team (ABE and ESL) that will focus on recruiting volunteers for administrative, tutoring, and teaching tasks
  • We have a few students who are going to 7 classes a week and more who go to 4 classes a week-
  • Raz-Plus helpers (they listen to students read) have increased.  One helper is also using the tool for her 5 year old son who has been having trouble in school this year.  He is loving it.


No report:  classes in transition


July finished the  Bartlett Reading Program and our summer ESL session.  The volunteer readers thought it was a good experience.  We have sent a questionnaire to the school to get the school’s feedback.  Hopefully we will receive something this week.
The Raz-Plus books have been a hit with all levels of students. We have 5 adult volunteers (including my daughter and one church member) who are continuing to meet with ESL students weekly to have the students read to them.  We have some very beginning students who are too shy to attend Zoom meetings that are also using this resource.  I will include information about the cost of this program later in this note.
6  of the Intermediate students have started their own English practice class.  They meet for 1 hour on Tuesday and Friday evenings.  They share their English Conversation reports via breakout rooms, then one student leads discussing a topic and then others discuss the topic.  They rotate who presents the topic. The main organizer of this effort said he might be able to help me teach a Monday evening class in Sept.  I would prepare the slides and discuss with him and he would lead during the time I am working with the beginning students.I have configured 7 computers and one iPad for loaning students.  (6 of the computers were paid for by LOUU funds).  Delivered one computer who lives in Round Rock.  She doesn’t have a car.  Met with the students to get required paperwork and to explain the programs. (At least one hour meeting with each student).
Have started students who have Windows computers with the OpenBook  program. Have meet via Zoom with each one to help them configure the program and to explain the different parts of the program (meetings take 30 to 45 minutes)
Joel Bercu posted information about our Leander Library problem to a facebook group.  As a result of this group’s work, the Leander Library has changed their mind and will let us use space again.  In the meantime I had help moving all of the material to my house.  When it is safe to have in-person class, I will need someone with a truck or trailer to help me move stuff back. Due to the age of our volunteers, we will meet via Zoom until the COVID situation improves.


  • I believe we are OK for the Leander day and evening classes.  The evening classes will probably continue to Zoom.
  • The Cedar Park morning classes will probably meet in person.  I haven’t confirmed it with one teacher who lives in Georgetown.  If she wants to continue in Zoom, we will have a mixed solution on Mon. and Th. mornings.
  • I might have to reduce the beginning Cedar Park  evening class to one day and the intermediate class will still meet twice a week and hopefully at the church.
Doug has been teaching the evening very beginning class.  He can’t continue that.  I don’t know if Audrey might be willing to teach one evening, Jon has taught one evening.  I will be asking her when she feels better..
The teachers want to see how COVID is doing in August before we make a final decision.  Some of them have relatives who are at risk.
Question.  We have a student in Hutto who has a terrible Internet connection.  Is there something I could buy and put on one of the laptops the Literacy Council  bought using our money that could help.  She could really use some help if I could find a way to solve that problem.
The following church members have or are continuing to help the summer reading program
Becky Southerland
Liz Schwab
Cindy La Greca
I will be helping Sylvia Davis get started this week.
Starting in August we will be exploring having two 45 min evenings and two 45 min. day time reading sessions.  Students would take turns reading pages from the book .One 45 min. would be for beginners and the other would be for intermediate students.  Doug, Liz, and Becky have said they are interested in this.  Sylvia said she would like to do this if she could get comfortable using her chromebook.
We start our summer session next week for ESL and next week we will also start the summer reading program where ESL and ABE students read to elementary students via zoom.


We have started our March to end of May session

We have 8 new students and a total of 51 students so far
Some students are from other states and we have 2 students from Mexico and one student from Vietnam. She joins our morning classes which is 10 pm in her country
We have a refugee couple from Cameroon
Students who are not from this area learned about our classes from their friends and family
In Feb I sent text to current and former students (@350) telling about local water and food resources.  One family requested extra help because they didn’t have transportation.  Doug took them groceries and water.  Some students are requesting help getting the vaccine.  Alycia Goss helped a teacher get a shot in Buda.  We have sent links to the current students and I will help a student via Zoom this week