Staff at the Hotline are always gratified and excited to come across good news stories of students whose educational journeys have begun with the Hotline. This one is from Fine Print, VALBEC’s excellent journal. It is the story of ‘Dean’ and Kaye, his volunteer tutor, and their learning journey together as part of the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre’s (CNLC) program. This is a condensed version of the article titled A Five Year Measure of Learning, by Sarah Deasey, FE coordinator at CNLC. (Fine Print, 2017 40.2)
Dean did not have schooling beyond grade three level due to traumatic family circumstances. As a result he was not able to read or write or make sense of numbers. He could not read or write his address. At 22 years of age, Dean wanted to change all this. He ‘wanted to be someone else’.
Dean enlisted his sister’s help and called the Hotline. He was then referred to CNLC and to their one to one tutoring program. Dean made a time for an interview and in spite of panicking after the interview and not immediately taking up the tutoring offered, he rang back a year later and met his new volunteer tutor. Kaye had recently retired after many years of teaching and started meeting Dean regularly, once a week. They began by working on his handwriting, which Sarah explains, is in many ways a safe pathway into the demands of the reading and writing process. As Dean’s skills and confidence increased, so did the complexity and challenges of the tasks he undertook. He developed an interest in the world and the news, something he never had before. Five years later Dean is now an independent learner and has his sights set on further study.