August 2, 2010
This, week, our story comes to us from Mansonville, Quebec. The author, Donna Woodard, is enrolled as a student with the Yamaska Literacy Council in Cowansville, Quebec. Donna likes to use the computer since she has improved her reading level. She finds that she has a better vocabulary and she writes email messages and notes to her family and friends.
I am a happier person since I learned to read. In 1995, when I finished school, my reading skill was very low. I was afraid to step out the door, afraid to talk to people, afraid of being laughed at, afraid that people would find out I couldn’t read. In 2002, I began learning to read.
Today I am not afraid, I feel more confident in myself, I enjoy talking to people, no one is laughing at me – my family and friends are proud of me that I am doing well. I am very grateful to my Dad and Mom who supported me and told me never to give up. Now I walk out the door looking forward to life.
I can do so many things now that I could not do before.
Shopping is much easier. I can read the labels. Last year I went out and bought myself a new bike. I can make shopping lists without copying from the paper.
I can read and follow recipes, and enjoy cooking. I can follow instructions to make other things. I enjoy doing woodworking.
I am learning to drive.
Now I can fill out forms and do my own banking.
I enjoy sitting and talking to people.
I can use a computer and go to the internet to research things like Nascar, find songs, and can e-mail my tutor, play games and make birthday cards.
I am reading longer books, just for fun – when I start a book, I can’t wait to finish it to see how it turns out. I don’t watch much TV anymore.
I have a bigger vocabulary.
I can write notes to my family and friends and they can write notes to me.
Reading makes things so easy, I can do most things by myself.
I am still learning – I am on Book 7 of the series and have one more book left. I still enjoy my reading lessons, and I will keep learning new things. It has not been easy, it has taken a lot of courage, but I am never going to stop learning now that I have got started. I am glad that I took this big challenge. I like my new life.
[This story was taken with permission, from "2009 Recognition Awards for Adult Literacy - Submissions", published by Literacy Volunteers of Quebec (LVQ) and a partnership of Quebec adult education organizations.]