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United Way Seeing is Believing – Literacy Council of Durham Region

United Way Seeing is Believing – Literacy Council of Durham Region


Hey Brad! Come on board our magic school bus. Hi everyone! My name is Brad Cook We do work with adults, And we work on building their basic reading and writing skills. So I thought I’d actually just share a couple of learner stories, Because all the stats can be read. I had a fellow who came into my program, That had some Gr. 9 education, He quit school, he said that: When he was in Gr. 3, he gave up on school Because in his mind, the teacher gave up on him. He came to us because he thought that there was a good chance That he was going to lose his job because he didn’t have the Gr. 12, Which was a new requirement that his workplace had. He never was successful at school, He didn’t read really, he didn’t write, We worked with him for a year, And he said things like: “This is the first time in my life where I felt I could learn.” And we helped him with, just really basic reading and writing skills. He went back after that, got his GED, and he then got a promotion at work. And when I talked to him, and I talk to him every once in a while, He says that the only reason why he still has a job is because of what he did at the Literacy Council. [Off Camera] “There is one of these stats and it’s talking about, 55% of working age adults in Canada are estimated to have less than adequate health literacy skills. Can you speak about what that means, exactly?” Well, it goes from anything like not being able to read your prescriptions, So we know that, for example, It’s a huge issue in the medical field – people taking incorrect amounts of medication, And that feeds into that But it’s also things like, You know at school they have immunization, So, I just recently saw one, It’s like four pages of information, critical information about the health of your child. And none of my learners would be able to read that. They could read some of the words, but there’s lots of words they couldn’t understand. They don’t have the context to learn it And you know, the sense of fear that people have about that like “this is critical to my child”, and they don’t feel like they have the information So they have to trust people – and that’s a pretty scary proposition. The support of the United Way enables us to maintain our services. So there was about 2 years, where the board of directors was talking about closing the organization, Because of funding, etc. But it was because of the United Way that we were able to stay open. And honestly, if Ithink about that, Every learner that’s been successful since, really is because of the support of the community.

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