May 27, 2002
This week, we are launching nine stories written by students from Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a special event, you can read some of the stories as well as hear them, with the audio player. The following stories were written by members of the Learner Speakers' Bureau, coordinated by Literacy Partners of Manitoba. These learners participate in different programs in the Winnipeg area. The stories from this year's Learner Speakers' Bureau graduates will be unveiled at the Winnipeg Learner Conference on May 29, 2002.
Note : The text versions that follow do not always match the audio version, because some people preferred to update their stories after the recordings.
Play an audio version of this story
You never know how your day is going to end. You get up everyday, get ready, say goodbye to the family and off you go. Then an accident changes everything.
In 1995 I had an accident. 2000 lb. of glass fell on my right leg and left me permanently disabled. I had to look for a different job but unfortunately I couldn't read or write to find a suitable job.
A few years later, when my son started school, he brought books from the library for me to read to him. I knew that I could not read them. I tried too pretend to read but he looked at me and he said, "Daddy, you can't read".
Hearing those words I wondered what kind of father figure would I be. I was not able to work. I couldn't help my child with his schoolwork or read a menu, a newspaper or magazines. I could not write a note to my wife or to my children, or a cheque when I went shopping.
You feel useless. You feel your life has ended. With those thoughts, I said to myself, "I need help". I went to the library to look for some information about classes on reading and writing.
I found a brochure with the name Pluri-Elles. It said that they could help. It took courage to phone and now with their help, I'm learning how to read and write.
Six months ago, I heard an announcement on the radio about Literacy Partners. It said they could help me.
If I became a better speaker, then my reading and writing would probably improve. After locating where Literacy Partners were, I went to a meeting. As I walked into the classroom, I noticed that I was not alone. I didn't feel useless anymore.
Did you know there are at least 107,000 Manitobans over age 15 with less than a grade 9 education. Thanks to Literacy Partners and Pluri-Elles, my reading and writing skills have improved. I can now read a story book to my son and help him with his homework.