For more information, please see the SEA Literacy Web site.

SEA Literacy

Address: 2819 W. Richardson Place (28th and State), located on the second floor of Neighborhood House.


By car: Head west on W Wisconsin Ave toward N 12th St. Turn right onto N 27 St. Turn left onto W Richardson Pl. Destination will be on left.

By bus: Take the #30, #30X, or Gold Line heading west from campus. Disembark on Wisconsin Ave & 27th Street. Walk heading west on W Wisconsin Ave toward N 27th St, then turn right onto N 27St. Turn left onto W Richardson Pl and the destination will be on the left.

Orientation: ​Individual orientation

Days/Hours of Volunteering: Tuesdays 6pm-8pm | Saturdays 10am-12pm

Description of Agency/Activities: SEA Literacy was founded in 2011 by Bob Heffernan in response to the need for academic tutoring and cultural mentorship of refugee children from Burma, also called Myanmar, who now reside in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The refugee families fled their country to save their lives, escaping ethnic conflict which has existed for decades. Over 1,000 refugees live in the Milwaukee area. Most of them are ethnic minorities in Burma. SEA Literacy began when Bob, a landlord, noticed his refugee tenants were largely isolated from the larger Milwaukee community, the children’s school grades were woefully inadequate, and their English proficiency was not progressing. We primarily focus on assisting students with homework, ESL (English as a second language) activities, and developing social skills.We began as a handful of individuals helping a group of 10 refugee kids with their homework and giving impromptu English lessons. Today, SEA Literacy serves around 40 active students with homework help, advanced tutoring, and whole-language based ESL projects.

Student Role at Agency: Students will help grade school and high school refugee students complete homework assignments. What does that mean? At SEA that means understanding that these students have large gaps in their education and understanding of American culture. Learning is made more difficult by poor English language skills. So, tutoring at SEA frequently means interpreting the meaning of the text and helping craft an answer to a homework sheet question. After their homework is done,  tutors will engage students in educational games such as math bingo,  flash card,  reading,  discussions,  or even games such as Jenga, chess, checkers,  Othello or puzzles. Games are used to promote English fluency and social skills acceptable in America.



Contact Us

Marquette University Service Learning
P.O. Box 1881
1102 W. Wisconsin Ave. Room 303
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-1881

Phone Number: (414) 288-0250
Fax Number: (414) 288-3259

Meet the Staff