December 16, 2002
This week, we have a story written by Keon MacKinnon, from Smelt Brook, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Keon likes to spend his free time with his young daughter. He also likes to go fishing. He is presently doing one-on-one tutoring in literacy with the Community Learning Association North of Smokey (CLANS) in Ingonish.
When I was a young boy, I started school when I was six. I went to school until I was fourteen years old. I didn't get much of an education. I was classed as a slow learner. When I quit school I had a grade three education.
With nothing else to do I went fishing with my father. He gave me a days pay until I got older, around sixteen. Ever since I have been a fisherman. In 1990 my father became ill, he couldn't go fishing anymore. He had the option to sell his license and gear. Instead he gave it to me to fish. Now my brother and I fish the outfit my dad gave us.
I found it tough trying to fill out papers. My sister in law kept after me to go back to school, as did my mother and sister. There was an Adult Learning School in my community. I was feeling embarrassed about going back to school but I did go back.
I am 38 years old. I now know how to read and write. I have accomplished something I thought I could never do. Thanks to the Community Learning Association North of Smokey (CLANS). I have confidence and self esteem.
I recommend this school for anyone like myself that needs to further their education. It's never too late to learn. I know because I went through it. I have a long way to go yet but I can say at least I found the courage to go back to school and I hope that there will always be a school like CLANS as I am in need of furthering my education. For anyone who thinks that schooling is not important, think again, because it's the most important thing in life.
[This story was taken with permission, from CLANS Connection, November 2002.]