Student Success: Felita Thompson

September 11, 2019

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Felita Thompson


“Felita Thompson is a homemaker who previously worked in construction jobs, and for 13 years she was a supervisor at NIH for cage washing and a caregiver for animals.

As a very young student, Felita did not like school and specifically did not like reading aloud. Although she graduated from high school, she considered herself a slow reader and believed that being dyslexic inhibited her learning. As Felita stated, “What drives me is life and reading on a higher level.”

It was in October 2018 that Felita Thompson and I met. I am a volunteer with the Literacy Council and Felita was my assigned student. At our first meeting, Felita told me she wanted to “become a better reader” to achieve her goal of owning her own furniture-making business. When asked what books she read, she mentioned she didn’t read any books other than the Bible.

At each of our subsequent meetings, we worked through some grammar, reading, and writing exercises. Felita gained confidence in her writing and reading skills, so we broadened our resources and included newspaper articles and books.

The first book Felita selected to read was “The Book Thief,” which is over 400 pages long. At each of our weekly meetings, Felita was given written questions to answer about the book. The following week we would review her answers, but she had to read them aloud first, and then we would work on her written answers. Within a month Felita completed “The Book Thief.” As Felita noted, “To better myself is to better my family.”

Over the ten months we have been working together, Felita has completed ten books! Some are controversial in nature. Some are enduring love stories. Some demonstrate the complexities of human nature. Some are just as meaningful today as when they were first written. And, some are just good reads.

AACLC Tutor Pat Baker

Tutor Pat Baker

In addition, Felita’s writing skills have improved in that she writes more descriptive paragraphs, her reading speed has increased, and in her own words, “I now enjoy reading.” Felita’s comprehension level, as she describes it “is now enhanced.”

Felita mentioned that she “may still mix up letters and sentences,” but there is no doubt she is an extremely enthusiastic and persevering learner. She has clearly demonstrated that dyslexia is not a deterrent to the enjoyment of reading. As someone once said, “In order to become a better reader, one must read.” That is exactly what Felita Thompson is doing thanks to the Literacy Council.”

Tutor Pat Baker


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