|LEARNERS IN ACTION||March 2002|
Learners Answer the Call!
We are happy to feature two learners from Newfoundland and Labrador
I WAS 27 YEARS OLD when I took the first steps towards an education. I left school at a very young age, and didnt know how to read or write.
What got me really thinking was when one warm summers afternoon my son cut his little finger and came running into the house. I had to call for help. I couldnt find the phone number to the doctors clinic and I didnt know what to do.
It was only luck a friend came in at that time and called the doctor and took us to the clinic. That night I took a long walk and was thinking how helpless I was. The next morning I told my wife I had to do something. She told me to try and get into school. I called the college and was talking to an instructor. He asked me to come in and do a test to see what level I was on and I couldnt even do the first question.
I was told by a friend that Laubach Literacy could help me. I worked with Mrs. Myrtle Elliot four hours a week, one on one for six months. I then moved to a reading course. I was now reading books and the words were slowly coming together. I had many setbacks that caused me to give up, but then start again.
It was when I started going to Laubach Literacy Council meetings and went to their AGM that I had a chance to meet learners just like myself. After that, I kept going. New doors were opening for me. My reading got better and soon I was talking out loud to whoever would listen. Then I went back to the College of the North Atlantic. It was from there on I just kept thinking positive and I set small goals at a time.
I have a little girl who is five years of age and I help her to read and write. I have been in High School talking to students about education and how important it is today. I have done so many things now that I can read. I never thought that I would be able to talk in front of a group of people. However, I had a chance to do that at the Delta Hotel on October 30, 2001 while accepting an award from Canada Post.
When I looked down at the audience I saw my wife Annie and she had tears in her eyes. I glanced to my right and saw my instructor Nick Donovan. I can see in his eyes he is very proud of me. I cant believe I have come from an illiterate person who couldnt even read his own name to being able to get up in front of so many people at this ceremony.
I have lived in a very dark world for most of my life. I went through a hard battle with illiteracy. I was one of the lucky ones who had a wife who stayed with our children, supported me and encouraged me while I was off attending school. If I never go any further than where I am today, I would be disappointed but would be more than satisfied with this beautiful gift of literacy.
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