Recently, I received the immeasurable gift of chatting with a woman who’d come to That Reading Thing unable to read the word ‘is’. No one outside her immediate family knew her secret and, during her first TRT session, she wept just trying to articulate to her tutor that she couldn’t read or write.
At Port Reach’s celebration evening, supported by her tutor, she stood in front of a roomful of people and told her story. By her own account, she has a long way to go, but she’s come so far already! She now reads every day with her 5-year-old as they get to grips with the written word together.
It will go down as one of the best moments in my life. I got to hug her after and tell her honestly that, when my job feels hard and I get discouraged, she’ll be on my mind as I get to work making sure That Reading Thing finds its way to the people who need it most.
I’ll also be forever grateful to the wonderful people who run That Reading Thing projects and the volunteers who give their time and talents. They don’t just make readers; they nurture “people who don’t know they can”, helping them become people who can stand up and tell their stories, people who can make sure their children succeed in education, people who surpass all previous expectations.