January 25, 1999
Our story this week is a special event, because we are launching a learner's story on the Internet, and you can read his story as well as hear it, with the proper audio program as shown below. We have a story written by Wayne Bell, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Wayne grew up in the Winnipeg area, and he and his family moved around quite a bit. He was from a family of three brothers and a sister, and his father worked for the fire department. Wayne was enrolled in Special Education classes because of his hearing problem and speech problem, as well as his lazy eye. In 1973, Wayne received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his arms, which caused him to have a disability in his right arm. Today, he owns a successful tourist business, Wayne's Tours. He also gives talks to adult literacy programs.
Play an audio version of this story
I am pleased to share with you the story of my growth as a result of going back to school.
Why? My children were getting on with school. I was unable to assist them or work with them in any way. Besides that, I realized I would be stuck in a dead end job with no opportunity to advance unless I improved my education.
It took a great amount of courage to go back to an adult literacy program. However, two good things happened. One of the teachers was a friend of many years and I felt welcome. The students with identical problems made me realize I was not alone. There were others just like me.
By slow, careful study and patience and teaching skills of the tutors and teachers, I began learning the skills I had missed out on. I did spelling. It was very hard for a long time but now, even though it is still hard work, I finally enjoy it.
I now visit other programs to talk about my experiences. I researched how to start a tour business. I used my First Aid course to save Maestro Bramwell Tovey's life when he was choking. I want to encourage other learners to stay in school, too
* Wayne would like to thank his granddaughter Liane and his grandson Kyle for their support and encouragement. He would also like to thank the National Literacy Secretariat and the Province of Manitoba for funding programs such as Literacy Partners of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Adult Centre, Open Doors, where he is taking classes now, as well as Journeys Literacy Program in the Winnipeg area in 1986, which helped him become successful.