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“You Don’t Have To Feel Ashamed”: Learning To Read At The Age Of 23

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Brittani Bellamy (l) and Gina Berko Solomon. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

One of the biggest barriers to learning to read as an adult is shame.  The Adult Literacy League works to overcome that barrier, through courses ranging from English literacy to GED, math and computer skills.

From the education desk this week 90.7’s Matthew Peddie talks to the Adult Literacy League’s executive director Gina Berko Solomon, and student Brittani Bellamy.

Bellamy was 23 when she saw a TV commercial for the league and reached out for help.

“I had a lot of shame about not being able to read,” says Bellamy.

“When I saw the commercial, it made me feel, ok there’s someone out there to help you. You don’t have to feel ashamed, it’s not your fault.”

That was four years ago. Bellamy says learning to read has changed her life in many ways. Now she’s able to read to her little sister and help her with homework.

“Reading books, it’s another world. I love reading. I have ten journals, I write and read all the time,” says Bellamy.

Who’s her favorite author?

“Right now- Maya Angelou. I love her books so much,” she says.

Education reporting on 90.7 News is supported by Helios Education Foundation

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »