The Rapidian

Winner of Literacy Center of West Michigan's 2016 Spellebration shares her message

Silvia Guzman was the learner speaker at the Literacy Center of West Michigan's 2016 Spellebration. Here is her speech.
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How you can join the Literacy Center!

If you are interested in becoming a learner like Silvia or a tutor like Michelle, contact the Literacy Center of West Michigan through http://literacycenterwm.org/contact/ or call 616-459-5151. 

/Eric Tank

My name is Silvia Guzman and I am from Mexico. I'm married and have five children. Three are living with me and two are in Mexico.

When I came to the Literacy Center I set for myself three major goals, to obtain the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking/conversation in English, to become a United States citizen and to obtain my driver's license.

On March 29, 2016 I took my citizenship test, passed it and was sworn in as a US citizen. My tutor has worked with me for two years on this, thank you. At the present time my tutor and I are working on obtaining a driver's license. My son takes me out to practice on the road and my tutor helps me with the laws and identification of road signs.

After I had my interview with the Literacy Center and I was paired up with my tutor, my family life changed. My son was here just five weeks from Mexico; he had a terrible accident in Lake Michigan. He broke his neck and is paralyzed from the neck down. He spent several days in a hospital then to Mary Free Bed Hospital for several weeks.

When I was up at the hospital, I needed to listen, speak and understand what those doctors were saying. Now that he is at home, someone must be with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I am thankful for my tutor, Michelle who meets with me every Saturday morning for two hours or more. Some of the extra things Michelle brings to our time together are: talking on the telephone with a salesman, reading aloud and having it recorded, then listen to see if you can understand it, reading the Michigan map, reading the mileage from city to city, finding a city, finding Michelle's vacation spot and how many miles did Michelle travel in Michigan. Sometimes we go out for lunch and coffee and always practice conversation. I went shopping and used coupons for the first time.

I went to the farmers market and saw fruits and vegetables that I didn't know what they were. I bought a squash fixed it for my family and it was delicious.

Thank you to the Literacy Center. Thank you Michelle for your patience and time you have given me, I am thankful.

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