Herlanda began tutoring Amanda in late July 2018. Amanda started with a great attitude and very ready to get to work. Herlanda has been tutoring for several years and came to Literacy Action to continue to have an impact on the community. Because all aspects of education are important to her, Literacy Action was a great fit. Amanda was in the middle of a job search because she had recently lost her job at a local nursing home.
From the beginning, Herlanda noticed that Amanda had a pretty strong reading ability, and this made her excited. As they worked through their first lesson, Amanda did a great job of reading through the story, but they were able to identify some problem areas and sought to work on these things beyond the lessons included in the Challenger curriculum workbook.
First, Herlanda was concerned with Amanda’s ability to comprehend what was being read in each lesson, because she struggled with answering questions listed after the story. They took their time with each of the questions, and Herlanda would assist Amanda with tricks of how to go back within the story to find the answer. These tricks included finding matching words listed in the question and in the story to answer the question, understanding that the questions may be listed in the order the story was written, and using the headers of different sections to be guided to the correct answers.
Second, beyond Amanda’s literacy ability, Herlanda was able to recognize that she had difficulty with math when a question asked her to complete the difference in the number of years events in a story occurred. As a result, Herlanda created problems to help her student with this type of activity to give her greater understanding of what she was reading. Math is an area that Amanda still needs assistance with, and they try to incorporate it when possible as they work through each of the lessons.
Amanda has had some ups and downs throughout the last three months they have been working together. She has gotten a new job at UAMS, something she is excited about, but has had difficulty passing the written driver’s exam. Because of this, she is now enrolled in driving school to help her get better prepared for the next attempt at passing the exam. Through all of this, Amanda has been committed to attending sessions, and has gained a true understanding of what is necessary to be successful in all areas of her life, hard work and commitment. Herlanda looks forward to their continued work together, and is hopeful that she will be an asset to Amanda’s continued growth in literacy and beyond.