In school, Carol (pictured right) found she couldn’t read from the board but she could copy, and when this was noticed she was given ‘special help’. This meant going to a separate classroom with others who were struggling, but the emphasis was on writing not improving reading skills. The situation was made worse because her classmates tormented her about her ‘special help classes’.
In 2016, Read Easy Weymouth and Portland held an event for World Book Night in the Tesco store where Carol worked. She had to pass the Read Easy table on her way to lunch. She was offered a book, which she took knowing she wouldn’t be able to read it, but it gave her time to hear the Read Easy volunteers talking to customers about their work. She picked up a leaflet and later talked to her partner who encouraged her to ring the contact number to find out more. Carol says this was the hardest call she had ever made.
Working around her shifts, she and her coach met twice a week to complete the programme, after which, Carol was delighted to receive her graduation certificate and book for completing the course. She continued to meet with her coach and went on to further develop her reading skills.
The book chosen for her graduation was The Gruffalo, which she had been reading to her granddaughter who started school this year. Carol is looking forward to being able to support her as she starts learning to read.