Unsung Heroes
Carol Almson
by Laura Haley
Contributing Writer
May 22, 2014 | 700 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Before moving to Moab, Carol Almson spent more than 20 years teaching middle school in Las Vegas, Nev. In a large city with such a diverse population, Almson saw her share of non-native English speakers, and eventually teaching those students English as a second language became one of her passions.

Almson first visited Moab in 1986 while camping. A few years later, she returned.

“I joked that if I could just find red rocks in juxtaposition to snowcapped mountains, I’d be happy,” she said.

That dream was realized with the purchase of five acres of land in Castle Valley – which is surrounded by red rock vistas and features views of the La Sal Mountains to the south.

Eventually, Almson retired from teaching and moved to Moab year-round. After taking time to work on her house and complete writing her memoir, she decided it was time to start giving back to the community.

“I went to the BEACON program at Grand County Middle School and told them that I wanted to work with a foreign student,” she said.

Almson was paired up to do one-on-one tutoring with a student who was originally from a foreign country.

“It was very rewarding,” she said.

When she heard that someone in town was teaching a conversational Spanish class, Almson jumped at the chance to brush up on a language that she’d taught previously. That opened the door for her to begin tutoring at the Moab Valley Multicultural Center.

Almson currently dedicates her time to tutoring two students through the MVMC. Katlyn Keane, the volunteer coordinator at MVMC, said the center offers tutors for people who are interested in learning English but aren’t able to fit the classes offered by the center into their schedule.

“Carol is one of those awesome individual tutors who really makes an effort to connect with her students and be a friend as well as a tutor,” Keane said. “She is extremely dedicated to our tutoring program and we appreciate the time and effort that she has given to the Multicultural Center and her students this year.”

Almson said she enjoys tutoring because both of her students are incredibly motivated.

“We do a lot of laughing,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

In order to help her students learn, Almson works to find ways to use the community as a library. That might involve taking a trip to the park or the library to help expose them to words they might not learn while reading a book.

“It’s easy to figure out where they are and what they need,” she said. “You start talking, and the conversation will build.”

Keane said that, through giving of her time and talents, Almson is a valuable addition to the Multicultural Center’s volunteer staff.

“It is a pleasure to work with Carol,” Keane said. “She makes my job much easier because of the responsibility that she takes for organizing her sessions and really catering to the needs of her students. I appreciate her so much.”

Almson said she is looking forward to her continued work with the MVMC.

“I’m flexible enough to work around crazy schedules,” she said. “You just have to keep working at it to find what works.”

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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