Learner Essays


My Life as a Mother, and Facing My Problem

By Debra

When I was a little girl in school, my mom had me go to a bilingual Spanish class. There were no other classes taught, just Spanish. It was very difficult for me to learn math, science, social studies in Spanish. After three years in Spanish class, I never learned how to read or write in Spanish or English. After that the teacher decided to put me in a special class. I stopped going to school at the age of 16 because I was so mad at the school system. Going through life not knowing how to read and write was very hard from me and my three kids.

I moved to Schenectady in 1998. I had my fourth son in February 1999. Three boys and one girl was a handful. I got married to my husband in September 2007. In 2008, I went to the library to get some movies to see on our television. I asked if they had any information about learning how to read and write. She gave me the phone number for Literary Volunteers. I called and spoke to June.

I met Betsy. She has been my tutor for one year. Now I read and write better. She is my best friend now – my only friend. Thank you so much for helping me Betsy.


Community Literacy Essay

by Lynne

A month ago my pocketbook was stolen from Wal-Mart. I turned around to get me a soda and someone stole it right out of my shopping cart. I felt very scared at first but then I said to my self – it was my fault.

I went to the security office and gave them the information about my pocketbook. Then I had to go to the police department by myself. I took the transit bus there. I was kind of scared as this had never happened to me before. At the police department they took my picture and fingerprinted me so they could tell that if found that it was mine.

I thought that it was my responsibility to cancel everything. First I went to the library and put a stop on my card. I had to get a new one. Then I went to the DMV so I could get a new photo ID card. I asked my friend to take me. The people at the DMV were very helpful. They took the time to explain how to fill out the application and I did it all by myself. They told me it would take 3 to 5 working business days. It took 3 weeks.

I also lost my Medicaid card so I went to the Medicaid office in Glens Falls. They asked for my name and address. Because of some of the benefits I get I had to go to Lake George. I brought my case worker with me for moral support. Things worked out well and they gave me a temporary card.

When I went to do these things for myself I felt very scared. Why was I scared?

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. I realized it was time to try to do things on my own. Going out in the community through Literacy Volunteers has helped me to know that I could do it. When I took care of this myself I felt so proud.


Living in Saratoga Springs

by Mei

I come from China, in my countryside I never see a snow, until I came to America one month late. I first time see a snowing, I’m very exciting but it’s very cold too. I just live in NY city two day, then move to Saratoga Springs now about 14 years. I still remember first few month I’m cry all the time, because I’m working Chinese restaurant the all men working there, I don’t speak English, no friends, no car, every day by bicycle to work, just change my life feel uncomfortable. Now I’m study English in library class, I meet friends, also my child a little bit grow up I’m bring them going out a lot, for example Library, YMCA, State park, congress park ,Mall,etc. Saratoga Springs is wonderful place to live people are friendly.



by Ajaya

When I first came here I saw beautiful snow. I had never seen snow before. I saw a lot of roads here, in our country there is no good and wide road. I saw a lot of cars, everybody has their own car. In our country wealthy persons only have their own car. People from here are very helpful.

When I came here I saw the trees without leaves then I thought that all the trees were dead or old trees, but when the summer season began the trees were full of leaves then I thought they are still alive.