Recently, a group of BWB employees and two of our Librarian partners volunteered to do some hands-on work with the National Center for Family Literacy on the West Coast. Turns out, it was an awesome experience. Here’s what one of our Librarian friends learned as she worked with adult literacy students at Lazear Elementary. We turn the floor over to Deborah George of Gwinnet County Public Library.
What I learned with the Green Egg Lovers (a.k.a. Gaylynne and the adult students at Lazear Elementary!)
-by Deborah George
1. If you’re going get out of your comfort zone and try new things, it may take some coaxing, persistence, and mutual participation from others (and sometimes a lot of blind faith in a GPS!)
2. Even books we’ve known for ages are new again when we read them with new friends.
3. Each of us is proud when we master a new skill – lots of grins say a lot.
4. It is always inspiring to see teams offer encouragement and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
5. We all have a personal story we’d be willing to share, given a safe place and the right moment.
How you can help
There are many ways to support literacy efforts and the teachers or volunteers working with literacy students and their families, but we can all start very simply:
Be a witness – Show an interest and appreciation of the hard work of students and teachers, and share your observations with others who may not be aware of daily dedication and enthusiasm displayed in these often modest, unassuming classrooms.
Invite others and pass it on – Share front line experiences with your friends, family and co-workers; enabling others with the ability to read and understand their world is a profound gift, made even more valuable as it is shared many times and in many places.