April 7, 2003
The following story was written by Lorna Barley, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Lorna raised 3 children on her own and now she is enrolled at Open Doors Literacy Program at King Edward School in Winnipeg.
Did you know that in Manitoba there are 107,000 people who have less than a grade 9 education?
I am one of those people with low literacy skills. For years I tried to hide the fact that I had problems reading and doing math. When you're young you look at education as a joke. Then when you are out in the real world on your own, life is not so easy without an education to help you through life.
I have raised three wonderful children on my own. When my children were young and going to school, there were times they needed my help with their homework, like reading and spelling. I found it to be hard for I could not understand a lot of the big words. Now I have grandchildren and more than anything I would love to be able to read to them and not feel like a failure.
Three years ago, I took a stand to do something for myself, and that was to go back to school and get my education. I phoned Open Doors Literacy Program in Winnipeg. Margaret Banasiak who is my teacher and my friend helped me to get into the program. I am doing well and I enjoy it a great deal. It was the right move to make for myself after my years of feeling a failure. I have come a long way in my education and I plan on going even further.
I hope that a lot more people will get in touch with one of the literacy programs and find out more information about how they can improve their skills and their lives.
My advice is to put one foot forward and go back to school for your future.
[This story was taken with permission, from A Book of Changes, which was was intended for display at Literacy Action Day, October 25th, 2001. Learners' Advisory Network (LAN) members felt that true stories from learners would make literacy 'come alive' for the politicians who read them.]