Proud readers prove it’s never too late
  • Friday 05 December 2008

Many of them have had no education all their lives. But 57 adults are about to overcome the odds when they take to the stage at the Events Centre to receive certificates in adult literacy.

Participants who took part in the Sunshine Coast Libraries’ Adult Literacy Program this year will attend a graduation ceremony on Tuesday 9 December at the Events Centre, Caloundra.

Program coordinator Mignon Fanton said it was an emotional day for her students, who entered the volunteer-run program with many heartbreaking histories of struggle. Some of the graduates are now literacy tutors who have been trained to help others.

“This is a very uplifting program because we hear many stories of individuals overcoming major difficulties in their lives to succeed,” she said.

Two examples from this year’s graduating class include:

  • Little Cloud – an opera singer from China who will sing a short song of welcome. Married to a German, she now lives in Caloundra but could speak only German and Chinese. She came into the adult literacy program so she could communicate with people in her local area. Her presence in the program has culturally enriched the lives of many others.
  • Wendy – a keen student who gained the confidence to stand up to her employer. She decided to organise a petition to improve conditions on a work bus and asked for help at the literacy class. All 42 people on the bus signed her petition, but it was not well received by management. She took it to her union and they now have a bus with all the improvements requested.