By Tyler Clarke, Prince Albert Daily Herald
When Carey Rigby-Wilcox bowed her head to a crowd of local literacy tutors on Monday, she offered a genuine thankfulness for their efforts. If not for volunteer tutors such as them, Rigby-Wilcox would not only have never published a book, she might never have even read one.
Prior to speaking with volunteer tutors for Tutor Learner Connections, Rigby-Wilcox explained the impact one volunteer tutor has made on her own life. Called “retarded” by some and “dumb” by others, Rigby-Wilcox held her low literacy skills as a (mostly) secret shame throughout her elementary and high school years.
She cheated and lied her way through school all the way to high school graduation — something she said she isn’t proud of, but at the time felt necessary to help get her past the judgmental gaze of her peers. It wasn’t until the birth of her child that she convinced herself to seek help in upping her literacy skills.
Specifically, it was when a doctor handed her a stack of immunization forms, which she was unable to read, that put things into perspective. “I could live this poor, pitiful life for myself, but now I’m jeopardizing my children and their futures,” she said.
About 23 years ago, Rigby-Wilcox met Lisa Vargo, who was then a volunteer tutor at Read Saskatoon.
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