Volunteers

Take some time to enjoy these quotes collected from various literacy volunteers across Ontario by Community Literacy of Ontario. Literacy volunteer tell us what they enjoy about their work, and why they do what they do.

Being a literacy volunteer is a two-way street. You get back every bit as much as you give and possibly more. It is so gratifying to see a student develop self-esteem and the strong desire to learn. The need is there-if only more people would realize it!

K. G., Timmins

I enjoy helping others and I learn just as much as the students. The employees at this centre are very helpful and encouraging. It is an excellent opportunity to meet new people.

C., Atikokan

I personally find that any help I might give is returned ten-fold. I made new friends and learned many things from them in return.

R.M., Atikokan

It is so satisfying when the student realizes that they can do it. The smiles from a beaming face-just knowing they have mastered the task at hand.

J., Atikokan

I find it rewarding when someone accomplishes their goals in just a couple of hours a day and they fully understand. It makes me feel like teaching is working great.

L., Atikokan

It is wonderful to see your learner progressing. Learners are always so appreciating of your help and the time given to them.

J., Huntsville

I enjoy working with a young adult who is eager to improve his literacy skills so that he may further his education. Seeing his skills develop and the enthusiasm he brings to each session is very rewarding.

R., Fergus, Wellington County

Knowledge is meant to be shared, it is the one gift that you can give freely to another person. When you give of yourself and share what you know with another person, whether it is how to fix a car, run a computer, or read a book, both people grow from the experience.

T., Renfrew County

The most rewarding thing about being a literacy volunteer has been the opportunity to see individuals gain new skills, develop a better sense of self worth and in turn offer their gifts and talents to the community through volunteerism and/or the work world.

G. W., Red Lake

It makes you see the world again with fresh eyes. I learned so much through the learners and it was a pleasure just getting to know these individuals so well. They were so appreciative because literacy seemed like a gift to them-and I in turn started to appreciate what I had in my life. Seeing them so proud of their own progress was very rewarding.

F. A., Sudbury

Nothing gives me such happiness as having a student see the light. To all of a sudden understand something and be able to communicate it to others.

J., Sault Ste. Marie

The reward of being a literacy volunteer is to see the light of comprehension break through and watch the students take off on their own. Wow! What a rush!

E. B., Renfrew County

Knowing that I helped someone gain the skills that will open up a new and brighter world for them. Also with these skills they may reach goals they never thought possible.

B., Cornwall

I believe I am doing something worthwhile and I am learning at the same time as I tutor and I enjoy it very much the response I get from my student.

V.G., Cornwall

I wanted to see the difference I was able to make and to have an affect on that person's life rather than donating money to a good cause but never being truly involved in the work that is being done.

B., Arthur

Seeing immediate results…Helping someone do something they thought they couldn't do…Learning as much as from your literacy student as they learn from you.

L.F., Waterloo

I enjoy working with people and through the Literacy Program I use skills I already have and am able to help someone gain new skills.

C., Kenora

It is rewarding seeing another person gain confidence as he/she achieves goals.

A., London

Watching a learner celebrate a breakthrough is an extremely good feeling. Being a part of that celebration and knowing that you helped is amazing. It keeps me coming back.

B.A., London

The most rewarding part about being a volunteer tutor in a literacy program is the wonderful people I have had the opportunity to meet and work with. It is truly wonderful to watch someone's skills improve and feel that I have contributed to that learning process. Also, with each learner that I work with, I learn so much more about others and especially myself.

?, London

When I see the light in a person's eyes when they find they can read and write and all that is opening up for them. I feel I have made a difference enriching someone's life.

J., Midland

The fact that you can connect on a one-to-one basis with another individual. It's a long term relationship; you can become good friends not just tutor and student. It makes you feel a better human being for having done it.

R.S., Hamilton-Wentworth

As a volunteer member of the literacy council board, my skills as a business person have been useful to our group in various ways from personnel issues to promotional efforts.

S.K., Hanover

Watching my student/learner's confidence grow as she realizes what she is capable of. Hearing her say "I've learned that I never stop learning-I learn something new every day".

M., Fairview

The learners gain much more self-confidence as they begin to read better and can see how it affects their lives day by day.

F.K., Downsview

It's wonderful to be able to help someone achieve their potential and feel good about themselves.

L.W., Toronto

The reward for me in being a literacy volunteer is watching the world open up for somebody else; watching them incorporate new skills and challenges and finding out that learning can be a lot of fun as well as being useful.

L., North York

I find it rewarding to see the small improvements people make every week.

C.H., Toronto

Tutoring is a two way street. I help people with my knowledge of English and they enrich my life with their eagerness and desire to learn. They impart their knowledge to me from another culture and we have a mutual understanding and become friends.

R., Don Mills

I have always been an avid reader. I can't imagine not being able to read. It is vitally important to be literate especially in this day & age. Reading leads to great adventures in life!

J., Huntsville

It is a wonderful feeling watching someone learn a new skill. Watching them grow in both skill and confidence, seeing them outgrow the need for guidance and to become independent. Every student I've had has some how left a part of themselves with me that I take wherever I go, and I know that I in some small way, have done the same for them.

T., Renfrew County

I know I have made a difference in the lives of those I was privileged to tutor-they in turn have made a huge difference in my life. It is a two-way street. I am all the better for having met my learners. E.G., Wellington County A literacy volunteer gets a lot of rewards because when you help someone you have more confidence in yourself and that makes me very happy.

?, Niagara Regional Literacy Council

I became involved in our literacy program because I wanted to give to our community. Volunteering is very rewarding since you are helping to improve other's lives.

C., Atikokan

I never thought of volunteering my time, until I saw an ad in the paper about a workshop to become a volunteer tutor. I always wanted to teach, and saw this as a great opportunity. After the workshop, I realized this is something I could do well, and do it at home.

L.F., Waterloo Region

After a busy working life, I was looking for ways to "give back" to the community. When I heard a presentation on literacy work by the local Literacy Council, I knew that was what I wanted to do.

J., St. Catharines

When working as a postal clerk I became aware of several people with literacy problems. It was an eye-opener for me.

P.U., Renfrew County

I enjoy helping others and interacting with people.

K.R., Red Lake

I have known several people with literacy problems and they overcame them by using an adult literacy centre. I saw the ad on T.V. and thought I would like to volunteer.

C., Kenora

I wasn't even looking to do any volunteer work-but when I saw the tiny blurb in the community newspaper I said, "That's me", I could do that." It was a combination of believing strongly in the power of literacy, knowing that I have always been a helping/facilitator type-liking to work with people and yes, knowing I needed that change in my own routine.

F.A., Sudbury

I became a literacy volunteer because I wanted to give to others the gift that had been given to me-the lifelong pleasure of reading.

E.B., Renfrew County

At a meeting, two members of the local literacy council were guest speakers. It was an interesting idea and later I stopped at the literacy council and became a volunteer tutor.

J., Cornwall

My husband does not read.

C.M., Red Lake

During the time I was searching for an interesting volunteer program to join I happened to hear an interview on CBC radio with Peter Gzowski. The statistics he was quoting on literacy rates in Canada were unbelievable to me. How could 20-25% of Canadians be functionally illiterate? I started to think about how difficult each day would be without the reading and writing skills that I took for granted. My decision was made-this was what I wanted to do.

?, London