AAANY’s English Students Step Out On The Town
If you walked into the Capitol One Bank on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge this past Thursday,
you may have seen the women of AAANY’s English program participating in our first ever
financial literacy workshop!
A group of about 25 students met at AAANY and walked across the street to Capitol One to
attend a lecture and demonstration given by the bank’s Branch Manager, Aneta Dowlatram.
Ms. Dowlatram gave up her morning to do a presentation on the different services offered
at the bank and give a tour of the bank’s safety deposit boxes. Each student received a
folder with literature about Capitol One’s services as well as example deposit slips and
savings account forms. The trip ended with several group practice sessions at Capitol One’s
For the past month, AAANY students learned about all aspects of the banking system.
The classes covered a wide range of terms, skills and topics, ranging from writing checks
to debating the finer points of Islamic Law and its analysis of interest (all in English
of course). AAANY’s Adult Education Coordinator, Katie McCulloch, worked with the
other volunteer teachers, Amida Alessandrini, Loren Diesi, and Megan Tribble, in order
to make sure that students in each level of English received a solid foundation of bank
vocabulary that they could put into practice in their everyday lives. Students did numerous
conversation drills, a variety of readings, and even made individual presentations in front
of their classmates about specific banking concepts. Before the big outing, Katie brought all
of the classes together for a large group discussion so the more advanced students could
help the beginner students practice conversations.
AAANY’s students arrived at the bank Thursday morning having previously addressed
a number of important subjects, including how to teach a child about handling money
responsibly, how to open a college savings account and how to wire transfer money to
one’s family in another country, and so were well prepared to ask many questions of Ms.
But by far the highlight of the day was the ATM lesson. Using a loud, beeping machine in
a language that is not your first can be intimidating, especially because of the stress that
any money transaction involves. But by the end of the trip, students were able to navigate
through the most important functions of the machine. The donut breakfast everyone
shared afterwards wasn’t too bad, either. This next week’s lesson plan is inspired by
the ATM excitement; we are going to conquer the subway system and the metro card