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Alta makes a positive change

Published: 
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

GEM ROWE 
Board Member, Secretary

“It was time for me to attempt to do something meaningful... Alta has provided me the opportunity to make a positive change”

 

One day, my home became an empty nest and I felt that it was time for me to attempt to do something meaningful. But what? 

 

I have to thank Cynthia Ellis for planting the Alta seed in my mind. She spoke in glowing terms about Paula Lucie-Smith and her team at the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (Alta) and what a great job they were doing in enabling adults to read and write. I decided that this was something I could do.

 

Meanwhile, I had seen the Alta ad in the newspapers and I made up my mind that this was where I would volunteer my time. I contacted the office and was called in for an interview. I was accepted into the programme to be trained as a tutor and I have been doing that since 2004.

 

Volunteer work is serving others for free; being an Alta tutor doesn’t feel like work to me. In fact, I view it as an opportunity to make a change in the life of an adult in a way that sometimes I do not fully comprehend, including changes in my own life! Working with the Alta students has turned out to be a most rewarding experience. 

 

To witness firsthand the surprise first and then the joy of the student when he gets what we are trying to teach him is very special. Our students appreciate our time and effort and this inspires and motivates me to go to class each week. 

 

Classes are held in a non-threatening environment where students do not feel that someone is holding a “big stick” over them to get it right all the time. It may take some students longer than others to read fluently. 

 

However, they know there is a place for them at Alta, until they acquire the literacy skills to earn acceptance in a society that can be very uncaring to those who are challenged by words.

 

Alta has provided me the opportunity to make a positive change in the life of an adult who otherwise would be denied the advantages of the written word that so many of us take for granted.

 

If you have the time, why not consider joining this remarkable NGO?