"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my student, and it has been far more rewarding then I ever dreamed it would be."
- LCWC Volunteer
My involvement with the Literacy Council began over a year ago when I had the time and attention to devote to a volunteer organization. After getting to know my client/student the weekly hours devoted to teaching my student became less and less about my original reasons for joining and more about the needs of my student. He stated that he was uneducated and therefore considered himself to be “less than.”
Since he started the program he has told me that he now “sees words” everywhere in his life. He’s amazed at all that he had been missing. His delight is evident when he shares that he is able to read a Bible story to his grandchild or that he can find the groceries on his list at the store with ease because he can read the category listings at the end of each aisle.
He’s also very proud of himself for carrying out one of the items on his “to do” list – “Go to the Literacy Council.”
- Kathy Kichnet, LCWC Volunteer Tutor
When I began tutoring at the Literacy Council in 2000, it was because Don Stowbridge, a church friend, suggested it as a good way to put another dimension into my life. At the time I was working long hours as a computer techie and tutoring sounded like a good balance to that. I decided the most rewarding role would be to do basic literacy tutoring and took the training for that. I received my first student soon after. The next year I received my next student and worked with that student for several years. During that time his reading ability increased to where he could handle homework assignments on his own and read much of what he was presented with at work. Most exciting was the way his confidence in his ability to read grew! During most of this time, I met weekly with my student but there were times when we added a Saturday session in order to get through some tough times or take advantage of times when he was on a real roll.
In early 2006, I retired and had the chance to do some daytime tutoring. I had wanted to learn more about the English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring in which the Literacy Council seemed more and more involved. After a discussion with Laura about what might work best with the Council’s needs and my skills and availability, I began teaching with Jon Breece in the Workplace Literacy Program. This program is quite new and involves teaching in a classroom setting. In these classes, we teach workplace skills like how to handle an emergency, safely procedures, locations and names of things at the Fairgrounds, equipment they use in their job, how to fill out forms, and many other things that will help them in their jobs. This has really been an exciting experience for me because I had thought I would never be comfortable teaching a class and I have been surprised to find I really enjoy it very much. In many ways this experience has encouraged me to try other opportunities to teach, and I feel like I’m finding a new side of myself.
Although I also volunteer with other organizations now, the Literacy Council of Wake County is my primary commitment. Partly that is because I have always felt my time was needed and my contribution made a difference in people’s lives. Partly it’s because it’s just exciting to hear a student who, when asked “How do you get to work?” has been answering “I ride with my friend” and then one day he answers “I drive my car.” That’s a time when you know a good thing is going on and you have a part in it.
- Nancy Moxley, LCWC Volunteer