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Last Reader Standing: The Story of a Man who Learned to Read at 54

Close your eyes and imagine the courage it took for you to do a difficult task. Now imagine the courage needed to do the hardest thing you have ever done. Now imagine you’re 54 years old, and the hardest thing you’ve ever done is admitting you cannot read.

This is what Archie Willard did. As a middle-aged man, he was forced to admit his challenges with reading and literacy and to do something about them so he could change his life.

And once he learned to read, he did not stop. He went on to write a touching and poignant story of his struggles to overcome his challenges, including a learning disability that was never identified. Last Reader Standing is his story, and it teaches readers the value of persistence and hard work. It also illustrates the lack of literacy in our society, and how important it is for each person to have the opportunity to became all he or she can hopes to be.

Even at the age of 82, Willard continues to fight for literacy awareness and to demonstrate its significance to improving lives, a basic belief that ProLiteracy shares as well.

Though meant for children and adults with reading difficulties and disabilities, Willard’s story can help parents, educators, and medical practitioners to better understand their roles in supporting the reading challenged. Overall, Last Reader Standing can inspire all readers that through courage, determination, and belief in one’s self, it is possible. His book can be purchased at most major bookstores and online retailers

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