April 4, 2019
Partner Spotlight: Helping adult learners succeed
Pictured: A Literacy Volunteer tutor embraces her learner at a recent United Way event.
The following account was provided by Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta, a United Way partner program.
Ray* came to Literacy Volunteers to improve his overall reading capacity and to have a better understanding of financial matters. Although he had a solid work history, he had been finding it more difficult to get a job recently, as literacy is much more important. The highest level of education Ray had was the 10th grade.
According to Ray’s Literacy Volunteers tutor, he entered the program with a reading style that focused on each word, which limited his ability to read with fluency and impacted his comprehension. Volunteer tutors strive to make the learning relevant to the needs and interests of the learner. Ray and his tutor became very engaged in a book that he enjoyed to the point of buying himself a paperback copy. When Ray brought the book to the next tutoring session, his tutor noticed he was not using his finger to follow the words as he read. He explained that he could not hold the paperback open and use his finger at the same time – from that point, he shot forward with his reading.
Having more confidence in his reading motivated Ray to buy his own book for the first time and read it, literally changing his reading style and improving his skill level. Ray also focused on improving his spelling and punctuation. Together, Ray and his tutor worked on spelling and sentence structure for several weeks. His tutor asked him to come to the next session with a written sentence using correct capitalization and structure. Ray proudly presented his sentence to his tutor. It read: “I wouldn’t be able to write this without you.”
*Ray is a pseudonym to protect the learner’s privacy.
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