In celebration of Alta’s 25th anniversary, Alta students around the country were asked to write about the impact the organisation has had on their lives. Since 1992, Alta has provided classes around the country for thousands of Trinidadians who struggle with reading and writing. Alta students enrol in the programme at many different levels of literacy and leave when they have accomplished their literacy goals. While it is difficult to manage work and family life alongside Alta classes, students continue to persevere and in all cases see changes in their lives after attending Alta classes. In the coming weeks, Alta will share their pieces through this column. This week, three students from the St George’s College, Barataria venue share how Alta has impacted their lives.
Student Name: Calvin
“For the past 17 years, I have been a stubborn mule. I keep going back and forth [with] learning to read and spell. Alta has given me that opportunity and [now] I am going ahead. I am very slow in learning the sounds of the vowels and the sight words. Alta is the best programme for people like me, who do not have the patience to learn in school. Yes it can be embarrassing to be an adult who cannot read or spell, but if you want to better your life, [this] programme is giving us that opportunity once more in life. For 17 years, I have been seeing classes starting off full and at the end of the year only three or four remain. Alta will push you forward in life but you will have to know if you want to go forward.
Sometimes it is good to [repeat a level] to make sure you understand the work because you do not want to drop out at another level and throw away the opportunity Alta is giving you. So come aboard people and enjoy the opportunity. I can guarantee that if you stick to it you will enjoy it at the end of the race.”
Student Name: Ricardo
“I felt I could never take part in my own business. Now that I am going to Alta I feel more in control of my job. At work I am being asked to help other employee fill out their forms. I feel much more helpful and I want to give back to Alta by spreading the good news to some of my staff who needs help.”
Student Name: Natisha
“Before I came to Alta I was not able to read and write [or] sound out words. I used to feel so sad [and] hopeless. I never think I will ever get the chance to go back to school until I saw a post on Facebook; “ALTA learn to read and write.” I start to jump up and down; I was so excited and happy. I was finally getting a second chance. Alta changed my life in so many ways, I am spelling much better [and] reading and writing much better than before. Also I am sounding out words I never thought I [would] be able to sound out by myself. Thanks to all the hard working teachers at Alta. ”