July 13, 2009
This week, we have a story from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The author, Ngeune Selinger, is originally from Laos. She lives in Prince Albert with her husband and children, where she works in early childhood development. She has been a part of the Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN) since the beginning, and is a member of the Board of Directors in addition to her role on the Learners' Focus Committee. Ngeune is the representative for Saskatchewan on the Literacy Action Network of the Movement for Canadian Literacy (MCL). Since starting her own journey in literacy, Ngeune says that "literacy is her passion."
Literacy is very important to me. Literacy is the skills we all need everyday to function. We often take it for granted because it affects all of us young and old.
As adult learners we have some trouble in this area. Literacy involves not only reading, writing: it's math, communicating verbally and non-verbally, and computers. Most of all, literacy is lifelong learning.
Being involved in literacy has given me courage to admit to myself that I need to learn more each and every day to be a good and productive citizen. I need to be a good example for my four girls. I used to have very low self-esteem, and had trouble reading and communicating for a person who had grade 12 and who had been in Canada for 30 years. I now am able to speak in front of people, I facilitate Come Read with Me, Alphabet Soup, and many other literacy trainings, I am on the board for the Saskatchewan Literacy Network, and I am the Provincial MCL-LAN representative. I'm also very involved in helping with literacy at Riverside Community School in Prince Albert.
In the past I was told by a school career counselor that I could not be a teacher because I'm an immigrant. From there, I just stopped learning and having goals at all. I felt that because I was an immigrant the barriers were too great. Now I know with the support of my family, the school and the Saskatchewan Literacy Network I will become some kind of a teacher. I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I will make it. I want to be a good example for my children, because I always tell them if you work hard, enjoy it and pray for it you will succeed.
[This story was taken with permission, from Learner Journeys, Spring 2009 - a learner newsletter published by the Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN).]