Approximately 11 percent of people in Virginia’s New River Valley cannot read.
Judy Vest was born and raised in Virginia’s Montgomery County and has lived there her whole life. She raised a daughter and took care of her home, but she was never able to learn to read.
She struggled throughout school. With her teachers not working with Judy to improve her reading, her low literacy slipped right by them and she was able to graduate and move forward with her life. She would get by with the help of her parents and her husband when it came to filling out forms, reading labels, etc. However, one day she decided to open a new door.
Like Judy, many adults with low literacy skills find themselves ashamed, frustrated, and making excuses at every turn. Judy found help though through the one-on-one tutoring services provided at Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley (LVNRV). LVNRV provides free instruction for adults in basic reading, writing and math; GED preparation; ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages); and basic computer skills. Just last year, the nonprofit organization helped 160 adults learn how to read, including 100 who learned to read in English as a second language.
“I cannot believe some of the words that I can read in this book” she said in an interview referencing the New Readers Press top-seller, Labauch Way to Reading: Level 1. “I could not do that before. I couldn’t.”
When she persevered and successfully developed her literacy skills, Judy bought herself a comfy reading chair. Each day, she happily sits in her chair, continues to develop her literacy skills, and works on reading a short story.
Read more inspirational student stories like this one at ProLiteracy Blogs.