Saturday, August 15, 2015

Changes in My Life: Ellen & Trevor

Do you sometimes wonder about the impact 
we are having on learners' lives? 

Three learners working together to share information with others.
Three learners creating a group presentation.
Volunteers who come in regularly see measurable differences in learners' abilities to perform specific literacy tasks. From an observer's point of view, the changes in learners become quite self-evident.

We're not always sure however if the learners recognize the changes in themselves. As such, for the third year, we have asked learners to write “2-minute”* speeches heralding the impact instruction is having on their lives. The format of these speeches is pretty simple - three paragraphs focused on three questions: Who am I? How have I changed? Where am I headed next?

Writing these speeches helps our learners reflect on their progress as they head towards their ultimate life goals. Here are two of the 2015 "2-minute" speeches shared on June 18, 2015, at: 

A Benefit for Literacy Action Center

Here's proof that what we do matters - from the mouths of Ellen and Trevor.

Ellen's speech -  Picturing Myself

      I am a single, young adult, who is highly motivated to make a better life for myself.  I have been living on my own for three years. I really enjoy living on my own. I can tell you that it is different than living with parents or roommates. I have been attending Literacy Action Center (LAC) for 8-1/2 years. I have improved in math and reading a lot since getting involved in this program. LAC has given me the skills to live independently.
     Before I started LAC, I couldn't comprehend what I was reading or work the math problems on the board that we do every morning. Ever since I started the program, I have been taught how to do the math on the board. Last fall, I started learning equations, like 2r = 14. Because I was taught by the fantastic volunteers and Deb, recently I was able to teach one of the students to work out a similar problem on the board. While I was teaching the student, for the first time I pictured myself as a teacher, just like Deb. And when I finished that problem with the learner, one of the volunteers, said, “Wow! You’re already teaching!”
     I want to go to college to become a special education teacher. With all the help from everyone here, I know that I can reach my dream! With my progress, I can picture myself teaching special education and helping to enrich the lives of others.

Trevor's speech - Stepping Up

     I'm the oldest of three children. I have a brother who is fourteen years old and a sister who is eight years old. I like to play contact sports. I like wrestling, rugby, football, and street basketball. I like to watch the Utah Utes play football.
     I'm passionate about racing and building race cars and trucks because I did it with my grandpa Sacre. We went to the track every other Saturday. I was on my grandpa’s pit crew. I checked the tire pressure on all four tires and then I sprayed water on the radiator to cool the motor for the next race. I helped Grandpa in the shop every weekday and every other Saturday. I spent four summers building a truck to race. The truck is an '85 Chevy S10 with a v8 350. My truck is a flat grey color. I want to start racing my truck at Rocky Mountain Raceway in the summer of 2016.
     When I was a freshman, my dad showed me how to weld. He helped me weld a roll cage for a remote control truck. Later, in high school, I took a welding class and made a pooper scooper for my mom and dad. I really liked welding, and I thought that it would be a good career.
     I want to be accepted into a welding program by fall 2015, so that I can become a certified welder. To get accepted, I need 8th grade reading and math skills. Currently, at Literacy Action Center, I'm focusing on reading comprehension and math. I have improved in both language skills and algebra since coming to LAC. I have scored 2.5 on the 10E language test and 3.3 on the 10D math test. So, I have a lot of work to do because I have to go up five grade levels in five months. I intend to step up into the ring and put up a fight. 

*This means that each speech must be able to be read aloud comfortably in two minutes. 


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