By Micaela Campbell
Experienced tutor Cam Broadnax leads a level two ABE class each Tuesday with her enthusiastic students Esther, Dorothy and Barbara. The class usually reads one or two books per session and completes accompanying activities. Cam is currently preparing her students for their upcoming post-tests, while continually encouraging them to be independent readers.
Cam explained why she became a tutor with Reading Connections, “Since I retired early, I enjoy giving back to my community. I wanted to give back because when I was younger, I was embarrassed to read. My mom took me to reading programs, and I still wouldn’t read aloud. Then one day, the words became alive. So, if I can help someone read better and achieve their goals, I am obliged. I love seeing Dorothy excited and Esther striving.”
Both Dorothy and Esther spoke very highly of Cam and their reading family. Dorothy praised Cam, “I know when I leave, I have learned something. Cam helps us in any way she knows how. She views us as equal. I feel better being around people, talking to people.”
Esther echoed this feeling, “With Cam, I have really learned a lot. I feel like my confidence is up. I’m thankful that I can sit down with my little cousins and I can read them a book. At one point, I wouldn’t do it and tell them I wasn’t a good reader. But I’m getting there.”
Although Dorothy and Esther have made great strides in their reading skills and self-confidence, they both noted that it is a difficult process. They exchanged stories about feeling inferior when confronted with public speaking or interacting with college graduates.
Despite these feelings, Dorothy and Esther have found a deep-rooted confidence that encourages them. Referencing a recent story about a 99-year-old WSSU graduate, Dorothy and Esther take pride in saying, “If a 99-year-old woman can do it, we can do it.” The two are grateful to Reading Connections and Cam for empowering them to follow their dreams.
We are always looking for great tutors like Cam to work with adult learners. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer tutor, email us or call (336) 230-2223.