May 18, 2009
This week, we have a story written by Doreen Aubertin , from Châteauguay, Quebec. Doreen is a student with the Chateauguay Valley Literacy Council. She has been working with her tutor for 10 years. She is a member of the Literacy Volunteers of Quebec Students Unlimited Network (SUN), a team of adult literacy students available to talk to the public about their literacy journey. In 2006, Doreen received the Adult Recognition Award for Quebec. She also appears in More than Words on Paper: Building Literacy One Reader at a Time, a video about literacy in Quebec.
Imagine not being able to read enough to help your children with their homework and knowing how to write only a few words. And looking up words in the dictionary is next to impossible. That was me, Doreen Aubertin, in 1996. I was so frustrated. It was like running down a dead end street. My mind was in a prison. I was a prisoner. I was lonely. I had a painful secret. I needed help.
In the spring of 1997, I called the Chateauguay Valley Literacy Council and got the help I needed. I thought I was the only person with this problem. I was not alone. I am very glad I called the Literacy Council and became a student. The people at the council were very supportive. I felt very comfortable. I was tested and found out that I have a Learning Disability. Just knowing that I am intelligent and I can achieve my goals has changed my outlook on life. It took some time but after years of tutoring and support, I can finally say that I can read whatever I want. What a difference in knowing basic reading and writing skills. It has changed my life. I have self-confidence. I am achieving my goals. I am able to work and support my family. I can join committees. I finally have a learner's permit and hope to have a driver's license soon. I am learning new skills every day. My life has improved. It is an on-going process but I can assure you it is well worth it. Life without the power to read and write is a hard one.
[This story was taken with permission, from the Literacy Volunteers of Quebec website, in the Students section.]