The Gift of a Lifetime
You’re looking for a place to have a quick lunch, and you see a sign: “PANGANAN.” Well, who knows what that means? It’s just a bunch of letters as far as you can tell. Wait, here’s a sign on another store: “KALUTLUTU NGA TINAPAY!” That doesn’t tell you anything either—so you just keep walking to find somewhere to eat lunch. If only there was someone who could tell you that the first sign is advertising a place to eat and the second says “Hot fresh bread!” Until you have that knowledge, though, all you see is a scrawl of meaningless letters.
If you’ve ever been in a foreign country, maybe you felt hopeless as you tried to find a specific place and saw only indecipherable signs and letters. Perhaps that’s the way newcomers to the U.S.A. feel as they puzzle over words that don’t mean anything to them. Maybe it’s the way adult low-level readers feel when they see printed material, even though the words are in a language they know.
The person looking for lunch can probably find someone to direct them to a place to eat. The newcomer to the U.S. may not find it so easy to decipher English words. And the adult low-level reader does not want anyone to know he or she can’t read. What can be done about these last two? Who will help them?
You might be just the person they need. You can give the gift of a lifetime by sharing your knowledge with them. We at Joplin NALA Read can prepare you to teach both those from another country and those in our country who need help improving their reading. Our goal for both is to enable them to reach their full potential as adults. Come to our Tutor Training Workshop September 26 at Joplin NALA Read, 123 S. Main, 9:00-3:30. Call us at 782-2646 to verify your attendance.