By J.N., a graduate of the free remedial tutoring program of the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre for London in November 2008:

“When I was in Grade 3, school was impossible.  I didn’t look forward to going back to school at all.  School work was scary to me.  No matter how hard I tried, it went too fast and I couldn’t keep up.  I got really frustrated.  It felt like my eyes were crossed when I was reading.  I had to work at every word.  I wouldn’t understand what I had just read.

My resource teacher told me about the Scottish Rite Learning Centre just down the street from my school.  I applied and got accepted at the Centre, but there were no spaces available for a while.  So we got one of their tutors to work with me privately until a spot came open.  I learned how to read differently.  After even my first week of tutoring, things started to change.  I could read better.

“Je peut pronounce le français et écriver plus facilement.”  As I just said in French, pronouncing words and writing started to become easier.  Schoolwork got less scary.  I could focus better.

I stayed at my French immersion school because French made more sense to me than English, because in French, words sound more like how they are spelled.  The Scottish Rite has now taught me all the “Red Words”, words that aren’t spelled the way they sound.  Reading is so much easier for me now.  Last week, my teacher told me that I had improved my reading so much over the last year that she doubts the board will believe it.  Now I am excited about learning.  It’s not always a struggle for me now.

I get to play more now because I’m not stuck inside during recess trying to catch up with work, like I used to be.  I’m really going to miss the tutoring I got every week at the Centre, because everyone treated me so nice there and I knew it was helping me so much.  And of course, they always had really good cookies! My dream has always been to become an inventor, scientist or engineer.  Now, because of the wonderful gift of this training here at the Centre, it feels possible, because now I can read and write up all my research and findings.  I am sure all the other graduates tonight feel the same – anything’s possible now.

People can now see that we are smarter than they thought we could be, and we can do more than they thought we could do.  The sky’s not the limit; the BOOK is.  Thanks again to everybody at the Learning Centre.”