Have you ever thought you might like to volunteer to tutor an adult with LVGS?
LVGS thanks volunteer tutor Carole Horan for the following inspiring story.
Carole’s Corner: Literacy
Last month [in a previous Near Westside Initiative Newsletter article] I talked about my love of reading. Part of this love was a desire to teach someone to read. When I was preparing to retire from my job as a school secretary (I worked at Seymour and Blodgett schools), I knew it was time to get involved in Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse. I went through the training process and just before I retired they assigned me my first student. She and I got acquainted, but she just didn’t have the desire to continue so I was assigned another student. My second student was a lovely woman from Ghana and we worked together for about five months until she moved and was unable to continue. My third student was a man named Bobby.
Bobby and I totally clicked!! We worked together for almost four years, from 2005 – 2009. Bobby and I recently visited and caught up with each other’s lives. That was always
an important part of our time together every week; we learned about each other
and what made each of us tick. We laughed and shared our joys and sometimes our sadness. He wants you to know that he has cerebral palsy and some brain damage as a result of his birth circumstances. That is why he had and still has trouble
reading. Bobby lives in our neighborhood; I occasionally will see him when I am out and about. So we had the near Westside in common right from the start.
We met every Tuesday morning at Mundy Library on S. Geddes Street. The staff all got to know Bobby and enjoyed working with him. We worked for two hours, doing a variety of exercises all designed to help Bobby learn how to improve his reading skills. He began to read chapter books and write book reports for me. Bobby even began to read to his niece, and took out books for her. I gave him homework every week and he was great about doing it! Even those silly word games that I made him do that would help him learn to read better!
Bobby came to Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse because he wanted to learn how
to read for his daily living skills, such as: street signs, medications, applications, mail, magazines, recipes and so forth. He came with an approximately first to second grade reading level. When Bobby left his skills had increased to about fifth grade and he felt great. Bobby wanted to stop coming because he really did not enjoy reading for pleasure (it was difficult for him), but he had gained enough skills so that his daily life had improved.
Here are a couple of quotes from Bobby:
“It’s nice to have the skills.”
“I am able to call the doctor myself to order my prescriptions.”
“I enjoyed going to the library to see you.”
And my favorite: “I don’t regret it – it has made my life easier.”
Do you know someone who has difficulty reading?
Would you like to teach someone how to read?
There is an answer for both of these questions.
And that is to contact Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse.
I sincerely hope that this column focusing on literacy has helped you to look at reading in your life and increased your desire to read, and perhaps help others to read! I am closing with a quote from Ginny Carmody, Executive Director of Literacy Coalition on Onondaga County: ”In particular, I have a passion for family literacy and I believe that we must invest in those strategies that target children and their parents. Encouraging and inspiring families to read and learn together has the power to transform lives. By working together we can also achieve a shared vision of 100% literacy through 100% community engagement.”
This article has been provided courtesy of the Syracuse Near Westside Initiative Newsletter.
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