Graham North, at 69 years old, has finally fulfilled a lifelong ambition of learning the skill of reading thanks to participating in an adult literacy scheme.
Thanks to the literacy scheme and the charity Read Easy, a 69-year-old man called Graham North proved that it’s never too late to achieve your goals and learn new skills.
Illiteracy continues to be an issue in the 21st century, so the work done by charities like Read Easy through programmes like the adult literacy scheme remains more crucial than ever.
Read Easy – founded in 2010
Read Easy is a registered charity which was founded in 2010. Since then, several groups have been established across the UK.
With more than 2.4 million adults in England struggling with reading, Read Easy is an organisation that understands the importance that the skill of reading can bring to someone’s life.
Retired head teacher Alan Cornwall, who leads the Hull-based team, explained that while the programme uses phonics, the key to Read Easy’s success is using “adult-focused” material with links to real-life scenarios.
“One story we use, for instance, is about a young man plucking up the courage in a fish and chip shop to ask a young lady to go out with him. We are about giving people the gift of reading.”
The literacy scheme – helping people to learn the skill of reading
How the literacy scheme works with Read Easy is that a person learning to read is paired with a coach to meet for half an hour twice a week in one of many approved local reading venues provided free of charge.
While the places are relatively private, other people will be around for safeguarding reasons. Some groups also offer to coach online or over the phone.
Coaching is provided through a highly effective, phonics-based reading programme called Turning Pages, published by the charity Shannon Trust.
On average, an adult reading journey usually takes at least two years. The programme’s main aim is to equip people with the skills needed to read and continue learning confidently.
Graham North – learned to read at the age of 69
Knowing about his reading difficulties in the past, Graham revealed, “I struggled all the way through school.
“Words on a page were all mumbo-jumbo to me. I was picked on, I was embarrassed that I couldn’t read when everyone else could. I have wanted to read all my life. Now I’m finally doing it, I’m giving it a go, and I’m enjoying it”.
When it comes to reading now, Graham says, “Now, when I get sent a letter, I get the drift of what is being said.
“You’re never too old to learn new things, and if I can encourage other people to do the same, I will. Everyone was proud of me, and I was proud of myself”.