Debra had a secret. Most days, she was able to hide it from the world. Then came the day when her oldest child asked her to help with a homework assignment. Debra’s heart sank as she gently told her child she couldn’t help right now. Her secret was keeping her from the simple act of helping her child. Debra’s secret? She is functionally illiterate.
Debra is one of over 500 adults that have come to the Literacy Center for help this year. We are dedicated to helping adults and families by providing free services to improve their reading abilities so they can do all the simple things we take for granted – such as reading this email, a bedtime book to our children, helping with homework, understanding a doctor’s instructions, or comprehending a job application.
Debra stopped going to school in 8th grade but never lost sight of the value of education for her own children. When her child asked her for homework help and she could not give it, she realized she wanted her secret life – a life filled with shame, regret and fear – to be over.
When she found the Literacy Center Debra was especially worried about the cost, because with three children and being unemployed, household finances were stretched to the limit. She was relieved to learn (thanks to generous donations) she would not have to pay any fees to join the GED program. Her dream to finally earn her high school diploma could begin!
Debra had to work hard, but the one-on-one attention and mentoring from one of our volunteers made it much easier for her to focus on her goal. The Literacy Center also taught her “technology” literacy in their computer lab because technology is such an important part of our daily lives – from banking, to applying for a job.
When she joined the program in April, Debra tested at a second grade reading level. Today, she is preparing to take her final GED test to earn her high school equivalency diploma!
Thanks to caring donors like you, Debra has new dreams now – dreams she never dared to even consider before coming to the Literacy Center. Not only can she help her children with homework, she wants to give back to the community by becoming a nurse. For the people that made the GED program possible for Debra, this is the biggest and best return on investment they could ever imagine.
Keeping services at low or no cost is essential to help adults living with the secret of illiteracy. Their fear of failure is so great, any barriers – no matter how small – can seem impossible. They feel they are trapped, and without you, they lack hope and opportunity.
I hope you will consider making a gift today – an investment – to support the good work of the Literacy Center. On behalf of the staff, board of directors, volunteers, and especially Debra, thank you for your support!