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Interviewing Literacy Students ~ Journeys of the Spirit IV

Aug 13 2013

Journeys of the Spirit IV provides the reader with a variety of voices and realities, as students share their triumphs and struggles through stories and poetry.

Thoughts from the Author, Nancy Cooper

For the past several years I’ve been busy raising my twin boys and not really thinking too much about literacy programs or literacy learners for that matter. But when I was asked to interview learners and write up those interviews for Journeys of the Spirit IV, I jumped at the chance. It’s been quite a while since I worked with learners in a group or classroom setting so I was eager to meet learners again and talk about their struggles and successes.

One thing all of the learners I interviewed had in common was the hard times they have lived through. Addiction, foster care, racism, poverty, abuse and violence were the reality for many. All of the people I spoke to wanted a better life for themselves and their families and they realized that education would help them achieve that better life.

I was struck by the tenacity and resilience of the people I spoke to when they talked about the reality of their lives and what they did to overcome their struggles. You will read all about these struggles and successes in the book but for me the process was important because it reinforced my belief in the importance of greater funding for literacy programs.

Literacy programs do more than help people to read or write; they are a safe place where people have the time and space to become the people they have always wanted to be. They become strong, amazing, talented Aboriginal people who seek a brighter future for themselves and their families and by default, the community as a whole.
It was an honour getting to know these individuals. Meegwetch!

Nancy is Anishnabe from the Rama First Nation in Ontario and lives in Toronto with her family.  She’s thinking about world domination but will probably just have a nap instead.

Download the Teacher’s Guide and check out the book here:

Book Launch September 27, 2013