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ALTA Students Write
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, two students from the San Juan North Secondary venue share how Alta has impacted their lives.
Student Name: Marissa Collins
“My name is Marissa Collins, I am from the lower Santa Cruz area. I am the mother of two beautiful kids. I heard about Alta over the television, radio and Facebook so I decided to look into it more. In my research I learn that Alta teaches you to read and write. I have trouble in spelling and the pronunciation of words and also understanding English. My friends and family will laugh when I say certain words and ask me “Where you come from?” So I decided to join Alta.
On my first day I went to class I felt scared. I thought that I would be the only one there, but it had more people. When I sat and looked around at people in the class they were different age groups. I thought the teachers would be impatient and only here for the money.
In continuing to attend class it became more friendly and welcoming. The teachers are always willing to assist you with your questions and concerns. At the end of class we always have a game to play, (and) we all have fun. The teachers help you get a better understanding about English language, reading and writing. By attending these classes my spelling, pronunciation of words and sound is improving.
Alta turned out to be just what I wanted it to be. It made me feel more positive in myself. I can also assists my kids in there homework; with a better understanding as I go along. I am really happy that I made this step.”
Student Name: Colin Renaud “I am a student of Alta at the San Juan Secondary School, I am 49 years of age, yes I said 49. And I’m very proud of being a part of Alta. I started in 2017 and only missed one class, I’m enjoying every day of class. I have two wonderful and if not the best and understanding tutors.
I became a student at Alta because I needed more out of my life, and to reach for the stars but I could not spell and pronounce some words well and I was too ashamed that others would find out. Now because of this I could not read well so now at Alta I am learning to spell and to read and the pronunciation of words.
I am taking this head on. Now I am able to help my son Elyiah with his homework, something I could not have done before but because of Alta I now can.
I’m so proud of myself and my son as well. We now help each other. He helps me with my spelling, pronunciation and reading. (Before), I would send him by a cousin to do his homework. Now we do it (together) and she checks it to see if we are right or wrong. Alta made me understand English the way it should be. I did not expect Alta to be so helpful. At first I was ashamed now I am proud. I also have lots of fun meeting others, my confidence has gone up by almost 100 per cent. I did not expect this level of understanding at Alta this experience has change my outlook on my life and others.
Alta is making me and my family life better, I knew that I needed more, so this is why I came I said to myself it was now or never so here I am helping myself to help others like myself.”
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more Alta student writing on the impact the organisation has had on their lives.
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