Johanna’s Story: Beyond “What If”

I am a middle-aged woman who struggled with reading and writing for a long time. Although I have a high school diploma, I did not understand how important reading and writing were in 590x300_closeup-profile-of-a-woman-praying-in-silhouette-isolatedlife until I got out of school.

By this time  I realized I had a reading problem it was too late to do anything about it because I was about to graduate in two weeks. I graduated with a C average. For a couple of years.  I just goofed off. I wanted to go to work, but I could not fill out an application because I could not read, so I stayed at home and baby sat for a while.

Years later, when my son started day care he brought me books to read. Sometimes I could read them and some of them I could not read, so I put in my own words. I realized then that I needed help.

I started attending The READ Center, which was a big help for me and my kids. I have worked hard to impress upon them the importance of reading and writing, not only with my own kids, but with my nieces and nephews, too. My son and daughter both graduated in the top fifth of their class.  I am so proud of their hard work.

For many years, I was not able to attend classes.  But as my kids got older I returned to The READ Center and had the opportunity to work with three loving and very consistent ladies.  Now I’m reading a lot better. I’m now able to sound out big words. Back in the past I would just give up on the big words. Sometimes I fall asleep reading a book something I would have never done in the past.

Today I’m a classroom assistant at The READ Center. I enjoy working with them. I still think I’m dyslexic because of the way I see letters and spell words. My goal now is to work on going back to school, so I can get a better job and do something I like.


 Johanna (not her real name) is a great example of what The READ Center is uniquely able to do. READ tutors and teachers were available to Johanna when she was ready and able to seek help. She had a high school diploma but could barely read. Her improved reading and the skills she acquired supporting the literacy improvements have inspired her to move out of the cafeteria to help support struggling young readers.

Johanna recently updated her story in an article for The READ Center’s Student Voice.

Read Part 2 of Johanna’s Story

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