News & Blog: Learner Stories


Guest blogger: Emilio Nieto, Literacy Center’s Recruitment and Retention Specialist and Class Instructor

Charles came to the Literacy Center of West Michigan to improve his reading and writing skills. In his early career, Charles was skilled in electronic and computer work. Despite having difficulty reading manuals, he figured out how to do the work by trial and error. This allowed him to mask his difficulties with reading.

Growing up, Charles always had a hard time with school. “I would become frustrated and I began hiding the fact that I had difficulty reading,” he says. Despite his reading difficulties, Charles was still able to graduate from high school.Charles and his class

When Charles and I met, he was happy to learn about a literacy class for adults. He enrolled immediately. On his second day of class, Charles discovered what a syllable was.

It was like a light bulb went on, and he quickly understood the importance syllables played in his reading, writing and spelling. As a result of his discovery, Charles’ literacy improved significantly.

“I can’t believe the difference this has made in my reading and self-confidence,” Charles says.

Charles’ completion of the class gave him confidence. Despite the class coming to a close, Charles continues to work with a tutor where he practices grammar and writing. Once he graduates, he wants to give back to his community as a literacy tutor.

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