It's been a while since we've posted to this page. Let us explain. The movie is shot. Well, probably. We still have some feelers out to a couple of folks with whom we'd really like to speak; so, we might again get to fire up lights, sound and cameras. In the meantime, we've been editing, editing, editing. It is hard to describe how time consuming the editing process is. Every cut is personal and painful yet each one rewards the story. Hopefully, you'll find the time we've spent well worth it when you see the final product.
We've been invited to share a bit of our story on One Life Radio. You can find One Life Radio on their website at oneliferadio.com. Listen for us around noon on Thursday, January 21, 2016, or at your convenience by streaming from their website. Thanks to One Life Radio and its entire staff for their interest.
Gerald is that guy everyone likes. He's easy to talk to, listens and has a good sense of humor. He was friends with everyone in high school. It didn't hurt that he could run fast, really fast. He was a track star. You'd have thought he had it all together. Of course, that's exactly what he wanted you to think. What he didn't let you know is that he could only read little words he had memorized. He also didn't let you know he was in special education. He'd get to class really early or really late. That way, no one would see him go in. He thought nobody knew. But then he received a reading award at a school assembly. He didn't understand why he was getting an award. Apparently, his classmates were surprised as well. A few whispered. Soon, it seemed, everyone was laughing. His pride was hurt deeply. For years after graduating high school barely able to read, Gerald's pride kept him from seeking help. He got by but was always struggling to avoid having to read. Finally, he knew he had to do something. It wasn't easy to make himself vulnerable. He's reading much better now, and he wants others to know they can get help. They, too, can learn if they don't let pride get in their way.
We continue to encounter adults who graduated high school unable or barely able to read. They always wanted to learn to read but gave up because no one seemed to be able to help. Usually, they came to blame themselves. They struggle through life with their limitation until something pushes them to get help. Often, that push comes from their child’s struggle with reading. Tracey followed that path. Though her twin brother excelled in school, she was held back twice. She couldn’t read in grade school and things didn’t improve. Her teachers didn’t seem to know what to do. Yet, the school ultimately pushed her up and out with her diploma. Then her son began to struggle. He didn’t want to go to "Resource" like she had. She understood that. He didn’t want to stand out. She understood that. She offered to get him private lessons. He tried, but didn’t like it. The only reason he went in the first place was because Tracey had shared her story and promised to try if he would. He hasn’t yet accepted the need for help. But, Tracey embraced it. Two years through a multi-sensory systematic language program with her teacher, Edith, Tracey is reading pretty well now. We’ll tap in to her story.
Tonight in Vero Beach, The Learning Alliance will celebrate five years of working to promote literacy in the Indian River County public schools. Their effort is unlike any other we've found. They are not just buying books or reading with children, both of which are wonderful efforts. Rather, they are shooting for the moon to have 90% of third graders reading proficiently by 2018. As we posted below, we traveled to Vero Beach to document their story are part of our film. As our special thanks, we have prepared a ten-minute tribute to their effort. You can see it on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WLHru_Moa0&feature=em-upload_owner. Enjoy.