My primary role at Agidasin Initiatives will be to serve in the READ Summer Tutoring Program in Grassy Narrows. Here's what their website has to say about it:
"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." ~ W. Fusselman
READ is a summer tutoring program for primary readers. Struggling students are identified by their classroom teachers and Agidasin pairs them with a tutor for the summer. Each participant receives half an hour of 1:1 reading instruction each weekday of the eight week program. This results in 20 hours of dedicated literacy instruction for each student. In 2008 Agidasin had approximately 40 student participants.
The READ participants receive individualized instruction that focuses on the areas in which they are struggling. Caring, qualified instructors offer mentorship, friendship and inspiration to these future leaders.
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Literacy is incredibly important to functional living in society. Being able to read is something we often take for granted. When a person struggles with literacy, he or she is likely to experience difficulties in every day living, most obviously in obtaining employment, and in more simple tasks of life like taking the bus or understanding product labels. Imagine the anxiety of trying to find a job but not being able to fill out the application!
I currently work part-time as a support worker for people with developmental disabilities. As a result I am experiencing first-hand what happens when someone becomes an adult who has never learned to read. I never really thought about what it would be like until working alongside an illiterate person. He gets pretty frustrated when applying for jobs and going anywhere that requires paperwork, like the doctor's office or getting a new health card. He will never learn to drive and often struggles to take the bus by himself, not just because he can't read, but it's a blow to his pride when he constantly needs to ask for help.
I say all this to express the importance of the work Agidasin is doing with the children in the First Nations communities they support. As I will be writing about soon, First Nation's people have experienced many hardships and struggles in Canada. Literacy, due to language barriers, is a big one. I am excited and humbled to be able to serve in such an important way.
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