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Feb 15, 2012 7:07 PM by Shawn Kline

Day of Literacy: Never too late to learn to read

KATC and the United Way are picking up books on Thursday as part of the Day of Literacy Campaign. Your donation will give children the gift of reading.
How important is it for children to read? One middle-aged man says it's never too late to learn, he's improving his reading and wants children to recognize the benefits of starting at a young age.

He's Gregory Elaire.

"In 1986, I came to VITA," Elaire read his autobiography.

Gregory is 49-years-old and has a high school diploma but he's just now improving his reading and spelling skills through VITA, Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults.

"When I started, I had a sixth-grade level," he said. "That's not good enough."

It's his second time through the program. The first time, he left because he wanted to support his family as a carpenter but just a few years ago, Gregory suffered a stroke.

"I knew I needed to improve my reading, writing and spelling skills," he said.

So, he went back to VITA. There, he met Norma Guidry who helps adults become proficient readers.

"He couldn't go back to labor work." Guidry says, "and to get an office job, his literacy skills just weren't strong enough."

Now, Gregory wants to get into real estate and he's encouraging children to pick up a book so they can reach their goals too.

"I'm unsure how things will work out with my new career." He reads, "but I am sure that having these skills will greater my chances for success."

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