At first Sharon did not want anyone except her children to know that she was participating in a literacy program. Now she is actively talking about it and encouraging others in similar circumstances to contact the Literacy Council for help.
Reading was very difficult for Sharon, even in her earliest years of elementary school. As a result, she fell further and further behind in school until she dropped out at age 16 with little functional reading ability. Job opportunities that did not require reading were limited, so she concentrated on raising her family of six children, now ages 10 to 25. She also used her cooking/baking skills and love of children to become an active volunteer in her community.
But Sharon has other goals. She wants to get a job or open her own business focused on baking, child care, or cleaning services. She would also like to get a driver’s license and complete her GED. Finally, she wants to be able to write about her life and things that are important to her. When she found the AACLC literacy tutoring program, Sharon hoped that this program could result in the reading skills she needs to reach those goals.
Sharon and I started working together in mid-September. We meet twice a week for two hours at a time. Sharon started with Laubach Level 2 and moved through the material very quickly, completing Level 2 in two months and starting Level 3 right before Thanksgiving. For fun, we supplement the Laubach materials with recipes and cooking vocabulary as well as crossword puzzles, word find puzzles, and computer reading games, most of which I have found through the AACLC tutor resources.
Sharon is already taking steps toward her goals. In October she got a part-time job at the elementary school where she has volunteered for years, supervising children in the cafeteria during lunch periods as well as during evening PTA meetings. In order to get this job, she had to navigate the process of getting a photo ID from MVA and completing an on-line job application. Those tasks might have been significant obstacles for Sharon in the past, but she now has the confidence to tackle them.
I retired from a career as a pension consultant in 2013 and was looking for meaningful volunteer work. I am very happy that I found the AACLC and equally happy that I was matched with Sharon for tutoring.
Deborah Turner, AACLC Volunteer Tutor