Volunteers are our most valuable resources at Learn to Read. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to achieve our mission. Here are excerpts from the testimonials of some of our volunteers.
Want to share some terrific news with you! Not surprising, neither of my students have ever read a book (on their own, cover to cover). So, after eight weeks together, I introduced a Reading Log last week and let my students choose a book they wanted to read. The idea was to encourage them to read a little of the book each day (or as much as possible) over time and record the date and pages read in their log (and this is addition to regular homework each week).
Well, today I asked how the reading was going and Sylvia told me she read the entire book (“Buddy, the First Seeing Eye Dog”, 44 pages)– the first in her life! She was very excited and proud – and asked for another book! She really enjoyed it.
Teresa is also doing well – as you know, she is shy and does not like to read aloud – but today, she volunteered to go first in our reading aloud segment – and she did great! She has been very engaged and completes all of her work (as does Sylvia).
I can’t tell you how excited I am about their accomplishments – it makes all of my efforts worthwhile! I love it!
I have been teaching adults to read for seven years, six of those with Learn to Read. I love doing it; I think it is one of the things I was meant to do. When I am with my students, I feel myself light up inside. Overstatement? No.
My students’ ages have been from 17 to 70+. Some come to LTR as a condition of their parole. Some are living on the street – I give them zip-loc bags to keep their papers dry. Most are embarrassed and find comfort in the group. Many spent much of their school years in the last row of the classroom. I once had a woman who came to class twice with black eyes and swollen lips. Her “fiance'” didn’t want her to learn to read. She didn’t come back. There have been recovering addicts, ADHD sufferers, flagrant gays who were bullied out of school and people who didn’t have a childhood.
I have watched a parade of hopeful people come through my classroom and I have been awed by their courage and resiliency. They have gotten their driver’s licenses (including commercial driver’s licenses), jobs and promotions, found the confidence to leave abusive partners, read street signs and fortune cookies and medicine bottles and Bibles and business letters and textbooks and stories to children. All of this I have watched and my students have watched each other and we have all cheered.
I have been a librarian for 35 years – legal, medical, public and academic. I have two children and 6 grandchildren. My husband of 43 years and I have traveled extensively.