I can finally read!

By Anna Latimer, 2019-2020 Literacy First Tutor

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there lived a magical individual, who every day turned into something different. One day, she was a cat (or so she claimed). She had been about to leave her jacket at my tutor station for the day, but when I reminded her of it, she said “los gatos no olvidan!” (which means “Cats don’t forget!”), grabbed her jacket, and skipped out of the room. Another day she might be Rainbowdash from My Little Pony, but most days, she was simply my wonderful student, Amelia.

Amelia is your typical first grader, except with a pinch more bubbly in her personality, and lots of extra sweetness sprinkled on top (if only you could hear how excited she gets when she reads the word “pastel”, which means cake in Spanish). However, she didn’t begin first grade at the same level as many of her peers did. Where her peers came into first grade knowing most of their letter sounds, she came in knowing only a handful. She started as my student as I began my year as a Literacy First tutor, and she made incredible gains in her letter sounds, blends, words, and sentences throughout her first semester! She had already come a long way, with the Literacy First Alma Spanish phonics program.

Shortly into the second semester, I thought it was time for her to begin fluency work with Read Naturally. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a piece of cake for her, but I reassured her that she could do it – all I needed was to know that she was trying. Despite my encouragements, Amelia ended up crying midway through the lesson, saying to me sadly, “I can’t read!” We returned to the Alma book for the day, and she confidently read through some syllables and words to end the day’s session.

After speaking with Amelia’s teacher, we decided that we would give Read Naturally one more try the next day. The difference in her was astonishing – it’s like I had a completely different student with me. Her attitude was SO positive, SO bright, and she put forth her best effort into the lesson! Midway through the lesson, she exclaimed, “I can finally read!”. There is no end to what a person can do when they believe in their own abilities.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>