Brenda’s story

An excellent artist, Brenda was struggling to fulfil the requirements of a Foundation Art course.

In October 2015 Read Easy was contacted by Brenda’s support worker to see if we could help Brenda improve her reading skills. Although the support worker had been with Brenda for quite a while, she was unaware of how much Brenda struggled to read. Brenda’s difficulties with literacy only came to light because, as she was a very good artist , she had been put forward to do a Foundation Art course, which was a prelude to a full degree. Brenda was fine with the practical work but was struggling with the reading and written work, so much so that her confidence, which was never very high, took quite a blow. Read Easy therefore were tasked with helping with the reading and also building confidence; this is not unusual as to struggle with literacy is to be constantly at sea in a literate world.

Brenda was paired with Robin, a very gentle and patient coach. Brenda was found to actually have more reading ability than she believed, but as she guessed, in a bit of a hurry, everything she didn’t know, she needed to be reminded to look carefully, take her time, sound out the syllables phonically, before taking a more educated guess. Brenda made steady progress, and seemed to build up confidence, and graduated in March 2017.

As Brenda has a keen interest in local history she was presented with a book of photographs of Barnstaple in the past and in the present, with detailed captions. She is currently taking a break so that she can get back to her own art work but will be back in the Autumn to further build her skills in writing and reading.


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