Retired Tempe Teacher Still Head of the Class

When Ruth Kearns retired from teaching, she still found herself with a strong desire to impart knowledge to others. That’s why, shortly after moving to Friendship Village Tempe, she started a program for employees who needed to learn English. The program, funded by residents through the Friendship Village Tempe Foundation, is now in its tenth year and going strong.

“Here at Friendship Village, we have some of the most talented, hardworking individuals anywhere,” said Kearns. “Many of them need to learn English to advance their lives and careers here in the United States, and I’m fortunate to be able to help.”

Assisted by other residents, Kearns teaches the ESL (English as a Second Language) courses in a one-on-one format, which she’s found to be most successful.

“It’s really a very special feeling to work with someone and watch their pride as they learn a new language,” she said. “As Friendship Village residents, we aren’t just retired with our feet up. We’re active, passionate and committed to continuing to make a difference in the lives of others.”

As it turns out, making a difference is a two-way street at Friendship Village. Residents have also been learning Spanish from employees, showing a love for learning not just a language, but a culture, as well.