Monday, December 29, 2008

Rancho Cucamonga Public Library

Conquering Illiteracy: One Man's Fight
A Grandfather Reads His First Christmas Story
Good Morning America (ABC): Dec 27, 2008 by Lisa Fletcher, Nicole Young & Michael Milberger


Two years ago, reading a holiday book to his 3-year-old grandson Chip would have been impossible for Charles Goolsby. But this year, after countless hours of hard work, Goolsby is finally able to read a holiday story -- something he was never able to do for his own son and daughter.

One California man conquers a decades-long battle with reading."I was totally humiliated, a grown man with reading and writing skills that are not up to par," said Goolsby, 56, of Fontana, Calif. "I had nothing to lose, because I was at my bottom, my lowest point."

Recently divorced and recovering from heart surgery, Goolsby was entering a new phase of his life. Fixing car transmissions was his specialty. He even owned his own business with the help of his son, but facing retirement, his safety net was disappearing.

"If I needed something, I'd always say, 'Well, give me the paper, I'll go home and fill it out,' or I'd take my wife with me," said Goolsby. "People with the same disability that I have, you know how to get around stuff, you learn the shortcut for someone to help you."

It's not uncommon to find adults headed for retirement who do not have sufficient reading skills. Goolsby began as one of 30 million American adults who cannot read beyond a simple sentence and the 7 million who can't read at all, according to the National Institute for Literacy.

Rosie Manela, adult literacy program director at the Rancho Cucamonga Library, where Goolsby takes literacy lessons, said fear of embarrassment often prevents adults from seeking help.

"It is sad, because in this fast-paced technology, this competitive global economy, our country is going to suffer if we don't do anything about that," she said. READ MORE



Great Holiday Gift Idea !
Give A Gift of reading and writing to adult learners in

California library literacy programs from Santa Barbara to San Diego

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