Literacy Nassau volunteer Diane Dubno works with clients in the...

Literacy Nassau volunteer Diane Dubno works with clients in the Freeport Memorial Library on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014.

What does a devoted teacher do with a passion for education after retiring? For Diane Dubno, the answer was to keep teaching.

Dubno, a resident of Rockville Centre, was an elementary school speech language teacher for 25 years before retiring five years ago at 61. She's a board member of the Rosa Lee Young Childhood Center in Rockville Centre, where she assists with fundraising. "We raise money for scholarships for parents and children who need to go there but can't afford it," she said.

While that's fulfilling for the mother of two adult children, it wasn't enough.

"I knew I would miss teaching," said Dubno, whose husband, Peter, is a retired math teacher, "and thought, 'How can I continue in some capacity on a volunteer basis?' "

The answer was in an article about Literacy Nassau that she happened upon in the Rockville Centre Herald, a weekly community newspaper. Dubno has been a volunteer tutor with the nonprofit for the past three years and has worked one-on-one with several immigrants. One of them was Edwin Duran, who also wanted to take the naturalization exam and become a U.S. citizen.

"I started with him in 2012," Dubno recalled. "He was fantastic. A quick study and eager to learn vocabulary, writing and improve his reading skills."

In May, with his tutor waiting just outside the exam room, Duran passed the naturalization test with flying colors, and in June took his oath of citizenship in Holtsville. While he's done with his lessons, he stays in touch with his tutor. "He called me about two weeks ago," Dubno said proudly.

"It's extremely rewarding to be able to make a difference in the lives of others -- knowing I can impact their lives, and affording them the ability to acquire a better job, a better economic future, a car, a house -- all things that are part of the American dream."

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