Tired of shame, adult nonreaders hit books
Ventura County Star: 2.22.2017 by Claudia Boyd-Barrett
She struggled through high school, keeping her head down and trying her best, even though she didn’t understand a lot. Somehow, -she graduated — a feat that remains a mystery to her — and took a job sorting fruits and vegetables at Vons.
For more than 20 years, Martinez stuck at it, turning down promotions that required reading skills. If she needed to read something, she’d ask someone else to do it, pretending she'd forgotten her glasses or didn't have time. She’d memorize directions instead of street signs, order “hamburger and fries” at restaurants or point to dishes on the menu. Her husband — who was in on her secret — handled household bills and helping their kids with homework.
“I was embarrassed,” said Martinez, now a grandmother of two. “I felt ashamed that I couldn't read.”
Today, Martinez is overcoming her shame — and her inability to read. She’s enrolled in the Ventura County library system’s READ Adult Literacy Program, a longtime effort to help English-speaking adults improve their reading and writing. Participants meet one-on-one each week with a trained volunteer tutor at sites throughout the county, including Ojai, Ventura, Port Hueneme and Simi Valley. READ MORE @