Edmond, a second-year tutor, vividly describes the rewards of seeing the transformation of a child as they learn to read in this essay. Thanks, Edmond!
By Edmond Carroll, 2017-18 Literacy First tutor
It is not every day that you are personally blessed with the opportunity to see your faith rewarded, as well as your hard work, effort, focus, and determination. As a second-year member with Literacy First, I am aware of the impact that our specific AmeriCorps program has had on the city of Austin, and the specific lives in the community that have been impacted personally in the many years since AmeriCorps was founded. My experience in day-to-day service, and the knowledge I have gained of the impact we are making, has afforded me a feeling of accomplishment. That feeling is a result of hard work and determination that is never lost during this process.
On the first day with each student, I make it a point to help each child I tutor, understand that we will be working together, learning together, and reading together during the Literacy First process. Although the process itself is indeed a joint effort, both the student and I each play uniquely different roles in reaching the goal of making an amazing reader.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of graduating a 1st grade student that I have been diligently working with since the beginning of the school year. Over just over seven months, this student, and myself, made it to the finish line. We had accomplished the goal. The student could now read – beautifully.
Something of this nature can easily become routine, but when the livelihood of an individual – especially a child – is hanging in the balance, that feeling of “Yes, we did it!” never gets dull. It’s like seeing the end of the most emotionally moving film you have ever seen. You want to clap and jump out of your seat in approval of what you just watched and continue to relish its greatness for days.
Simply put: when you see a child learn to read you don’t forget it. For some students, you get to see a life changed. That will not only stay with you but will also keep driving you forward. It proves that hard work works, trusting the process will lead to desired results, and that faith deserves to be – and is – rewarded.