Dan’s Story

“Read to son! Bo & Peter! Yay!”

When we met in the fall of 2018, 41-year-old Dan was only able to write his name and the first ten letters of the alphabet. He had always been placed in Special Education classes, struggled constantly with reading and writing, and likely has dyslexia. All of these obstacles were compounded by poverty and a physical disability, and he dropped out halfway through high school. He has made a life for himself as a highly skilled mechanic, but he knew his struggle with illiteracy would keep him from living fully.

He enrolled in the Literacy Council of Buncombe County’s Adult Literacy program determined to learn how to read not just for himself, but for the two most important people in his life: his wife and his son. He told me that he felt like a burden to his wife, who has to do all the reading for Dan, provide all the homework support for their young son, and work full time to help support the family.

Dan began to work regularly with his tutor in January 2019 and progressed more quickly than anyone expected. While many students who start at Dan’s level can take almost a year to move through the first Wilson Reading System book, he is now in book three. In addition, his CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System) post-test score shows that he has moved up from Level 1 / Beginning Literacy to Level 2 / Beginning Basic Education. But the most significant personal goal Dan wanted to achieve finally came in the spring, and his tutor happily passed the information on in his tutor log: “Read to son! Bo & Peter! Yay!”

From Adult Literacy Program Director, Rebecca Massey

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