News & Blog: Tutors

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Resourceful and Persistent: Justin & Kalista

Interviewed by Carrie Roper (Literacy Coordinator)

Kalista Castine is a retired educator of adults and children within Special and Alternative Education.  She has previously tutored with children at the West Michigan Children’s Dyslexia Center.  She has been working with her learner Justin since February of this year, and the two have already seen significant improvement in his reading score. Justin is from Detroit and is working toward earning his GED.

Tell me about working with Justin.

Justin is a resourceful and persistent person, especially in his quest to improve his reading and spelling skills. We started August Justin Kalista 1working with what he knew and have built up our lessons from there. I continue to remind him that he is learning how to unlock literacy for himself. The first six months have flown by, and we are set to continue for as long as we need to or can. 

What is a favorite or successful lesson you have done?

I don’t have a favorite lesson, but we are having some fun together. My favorite part of our time is when we share something about how things have changed in history. Example, everybody carries backpacks now. Justin asked me what kind of bag I had when young. I had to think hard, but we didn’t have bags or backpacks! We carried 2, 3, or 4 hardcover textbooks home in our arms. Just like you might see in old movies!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about tutoring? 

I encouraged my circle of people to think about it and attend an orientation. It is a commitment, but totally worth it.

When asked about his tutoring, Justin said:

“I have been with the Literacy Center for two years now.  I have Dyslexia, and therefore I struggle with reading.  I have had a lot of tutors in my time, but Miss Kalista is one of the best tutors I have ever had.  She pushes me hard to be a better reader, and I have improved a lot.”

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