Monday, March 9, 2009

Salute to Adult Learners

I am in awe of our adult learners, those individuals who decide for whatever reason that they need to better their reading skills. How hard it must be to take a deep breath and walk through those doors and admit that you can't read well or at all.

Everybody knows that ANYONE can read - you must be really stupid if you can't read, right? Or you just spent too much time goofing off in school - if you had been a better person, you would have learned to read, right?

WRONG on so many levels. 20% of the adult learners are LIFT were born and raised in this country and I would gather the majority of them attended school at least for a few years and yet they cannot read well enough to understand the newspaper. We estimate that the majority of adult learners who come to LIFT have undiagnosed learning differences. They are at LIFT not because they goofed off in school or are stupid - some where along the lines they just didn't get it.

49% of the adults in Dallas County cannot read better than a fourth grade. To show you what that means, here is an excerpt from a fourth grade level book:
There was something furry lying under one of the buses. It was almost hidden under all
the leaves, but Lily had spotted it. What's that?" Lily woofed curiously to herself. Even
though she knew she should get home right away, she couldn't resist taking a little look.
"I'd better be careful, though," she yapped. "It might be dangerous."
These are people who can't read the newspaper, cannot understand the notes that come with a prescription.

We all have faced hard things in our lives and know how difficult it is to just admit we need help. To those adult learners who have faced their fears and shortcomings and decided to take their future into their own hands - I salute you.

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