One example of the work the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta (LVA) has done in the past 40 years is the story of Charlie Conley, one of our student. As reported in the Kennebec Journal in an article in 2011, here is Charlie’s story
Charlie Conley, who worked for American Airlines for 35 years, was illiterate up until last year, when he decided to seek help from the Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta, an agency supported by United Way.
“School was hard for me,” Charlie said at the kick-off breakfast. “My mother took me out of school when I was between 12 and 14 years old to work to help my family. I worked a lot of odd jobs before American Airlines. While I was (at American Airlines) I received letters thanking me for my service and someone else had to read them to me. I didn’t know how to read. Nobody ever knew it. It was too embarrassing.”
Conley, of Chelsea, said after all the years of hiding the truth from his co-workers and family, he now has an assigned volunteer tutor helping him learn how to read the letters he received, along with books and other publications.
Another prime example of the work of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta dates back to 2008.
Augusta resident Suzanne and her tutor, Jodi, from West Gardiner, were featured in the exhibit “Faces of Literacy: Voices of Courage” to the State House Welcome Center in February, 2010. Suzanne immigrated to Augusta from war-torn Democratic Congo, speaking no English. Motivated to improve her employment situation and gain friends, Suzanne sought help from LVA in 2008 and was paired with Jodi, who also serves on the local LVA board of directors. Suzanne progressed in her English at such a significant rate, is happier at work, and often delivers speaking engagements about her experience with Literacy Volunteers.
In 2010, 1,000 native Mainers and speakers of other languages – like Suzanne – improved their literacy through the Maine LV network of affiliates. If you know someone in the Augusta region who needs help with reading, call LVA at 207-626-3440, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta
Literacy Volunteers Greater Augusta promotes and fosters increased literacy for adults with low reading skills or those for whom English is not their native language, through volunteers. The organization also encourages and aids individuals, groups, or organizations that want to help adults read better through a community communications program. All services are provided free of charge to anyone. There is an ongoing need for volunteers.