National Adult Education and Family Literacy week is celebrated each September to raise awareness of the importance and impact of adult literacy. The READ Center has raised its voice this week to highlight the needs of adult literacy in our community, today we raise up the voices of our students.

Literacy is an important tool for navigating everyday life. It is it is also an important form of self-expression. Words have meaning and they can be powerful. Despite the challenges of the past few months or because of them, many READ students have wanted to share their words about their lives and feelings in these challenging and uncertain times.

The following are stories from The Student Voice, a publication written by students. You can read the entire publication on The READ Center website as students discuss their feelings about current events and share their thoughts on everything from racial justice to COVID-19.

Working with A Disability

By Kim 

I always wanted to work but I have a learning disability that always gets in my way. It will stop me from getting certain jobs like if I have to read something, I will not get that job. People like me have a very hard time getting a good job. But we don’t give up so easily. I will keep going, never give up. I will keep trying. I am not saying I never had a job before. I did have a job. I worked long hour and hard. The job was not a good job. I was not making enough money to take care of my family. So, I quit. Later on, I found another job. I was working at TJMAX. I really liked that job. I met some good people there. They became my friends. I worked there for two years. But they had to let me go because of my disability. I am not mad at them. I understand. My family is all grown up now so I started to focus on myself. I signed up with the READ center and I am studying and learning to read and write better. In the future I want bring this awareness to others who don’t understand people like me.



By Bernard M.

The death of George Floyd and all the other countless men and women who have died at the hands of police officers and prejudiced individuals have charged a world movement to end racism of Black Americans and all people of color. Our world is divided, and we need equality. As an African American, I want to see a world that can come together as one United Nation. A world that can live and love peacefully with each other regardless of the color of our skin.


This Disease Called COVID-19

By Kasheeda S. 

This disease has not been seen before in humans. Scientists are still learning about it. COVID-19 is a very dangerous disease. Doctors don’t have a vaccine to treat the virus. COVID-19 spread all over the world. People all over the world are dying with this virus. Countries all over the world had to close their borders, but it was already spreading. Countries had to tell the people to stay at home and shut down the country in order for the virus to stop spreading. In a few days people’s lives drastically changed from going to work and kids going to school. Only essential workers like health care workers, emergency, police officers, firefighters, grocery stores, pharmacies, food trucks, warehouse workers and farmers etc. If all of us stand together six feet apart, wear a mask, and wash our hands or use sanitizer we can fight this virus COVID-19.