Coast literacy program changing peoples' lives

LITERACY is an ability many of us take for granted but it can be a challenge for others.

This may be because students missed out on basic schooling, are from overseas or have a disability that may make reading difficult.

Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers, the Caloundra Community Centre is able to provide a light at the end of the tunnel for those wanting to develop their skills as part of the Adult Literacy Group.

It is a very relaxed environment on a Friday morning when all forms of literacy are covered and students are given everyday life challenges to follow to develop their skills.

This isn't a whim for the tutors, with many having been part of the program for many years and looking forward to continuing to share their knowledge.

Volunteer tutor Rob Riethmuller said the tutors worked hard to keep the setting fun yet informative, beginning the session with brain gym followed by a discussion on news of the day, even a joke of the day and also a weather report.

"This is something that we have had training in, in regards to the best way to help these students with their reading, writing and also numeracy," he said.

"We try to provide students with everyday situations such as filling in forms and following instructions because this is what they will be presented with throughout their lives.

"Wherever possible, we want to give them conversation self-assurance so they are able to share in the community."

Fellow tutor Angela Earls said she was constantly surprised by the students and loved their dedication and excitement.

"The students are always very positive and want to learn whether it is reading, writing, numeracy or even computers and we have had great success in providing a comfortable atmosphere where students feel they can talk confidently and ask questions.

"The biggest thing with being a tutor is having patience and always being willing to help and we even have times where we go out as a class to somewhere like the library or art gallery so we can continue our learning and also hep the students with their projects."

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