April 29, 2002
The following story was written by Elena, from Kelowna, BC. Elena was recently enrolled in literacy classes at Project Literacy Kelowna Society. Her goal was to improve her reading so that she could help her children with their homework and prepare herself for a return to work. In her earlier career, Elena had a good job in an industry that required no reading skills but now, she realises that her literacy skills are inadequate. She is gifted with a wonderfully warm and loving nature, and a quick understanding of the needs, wants, hopes and fears of young children. As Elena progressed with lessons and her tutor's encouragement, she decided to enroll in a day-care course and shortly therafter found a job caring for a baby.
Raising teenage kids as a single parent is tough. When they were young, it was easier. Since they started school it has gotten worse. They seem to pick up from other kids; the backtalk, the way they dress, the attitude. Now that they are in high school, they tell me the teachers have attitude. But I try my best, I give them my love and honesty. Sometimes, that's not enough, they want more. I don't know what they expect of me. They can't get everything they want. I'm always there for them good or bad. They have a home, a loving family and I'm doing the best I can.
[This story was taken with permission, from a compilation of stories by the participants of Project Literacy Kelowna Society's one-to-one adult basic literacy tutoring program, Our Words IV : For the Millenium, p.10.]