Setting the stage for an 11-year-old’s success

Annalee started coming to the Youth for Christ Literacy Centre in Brandon, Manitoba, 3 years ago. Now she is in grade 7.

Annalee says, “I came because the school thought it would be a good idea to come to the Literacy Centre because I had a hard time reading and everything. My grandmother has a bad time talking and writing and everything because she had to quit school early. So she tried her best to raise me to pronounce everything right.

So when I came here I became a better reader by 2 years, so right now I’m in grade 7 but I made it up to a grade 9 level. So they are all happy with me. I can read now very well and I’m addicted to it. It helped with my pronunciation mostly.

I remember I had to be excused from class a lot because my pronunciation was terrible. So like I said, the worst thing ever was that no one understood a word I said and yet I’m English, so they thought that was really weird. It got me kind of mad that no one understood what I was saying.

So when I started coming here (to the Literacy Center), they started helping me. They said words and I would always repeat things in my mind and when I got home, I started practicing them out loud, saying, ‘I got this!’

I was pretty proud that I started to ‘get’ things and my vocabulary is great and my teacher says I’m one of the best writers in the class but they also say I write too much now. They say it’s unique that I have good ideas and some other kids have a hard time coming up with good ideas but they said that I can make up a whole paragraph in a minute.”

Youth for Christ staff Roxanne Dyck coordinates the Literacy Centre in Brandon, Manitoba