I recently interviewed a student at an adult learning centre. It shows a glimpse of the role of libraries in the progress of this student.
An interview I did with an adult literacy student
Melisa was raised in a Croatian orphanage at a time when there were no opportunities for normal schooling. So she missed out on learning the basic skills of reading and writing. Later in life she came to live in Australia and taught herself to converse in English, which she now does very well. She speaks warmly about the people who helped her along the way. But reading and writing in English remained a problem. That was until she discovered the Narre Community Learning Centre! That’s where she discovered the Reading, Writing and Communication Skills course.
This is Melisa’s third year at NCLC. Third, because she enjoys it so much! She says she keeps learning more and more. “I’ve made a lot of progress,” she says, “especially this last year. I want to read and write freely. I’ve learned how to use a dictionary. And besides reading and writing, I’ve learned so many other skills too. Like using a computer. I’ve got my own computer now, and I’m able to use the internet. I found my dog Jack on the internet!”
Melisa gets excited when she talks about what she and her class mates got up to this year. “We learned many interesting things about history, what life was like many years ago, about Aboriginal and Aussie culture, and about the natural world.” There were excursions too, like a visit to the Melbourne Museum, and a Frankston Library event to meet an Aboriginal author.
Listening to Melisa is proof of what she claims: “I’m much more confident now.” And her final comment is: “It’s never too late to start school!”