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Tutors Teach Reading Skills

September 19 2012 | no comments

A man who spent his career working in finance in the auto industry decided that helping others improve their reading skills would be a great way to give something back.

Winston Hasler spent 38 years at General Motors. Now he’s volunteering with Macomb Literacy Partners—tutoring Ed Byrge weekly as Ed works to become a better reader.

“I’ve been retired for 19 years, have not volunteered for anything, so I thought this was an opportunity for me to try to see if I would enjoy doing it,” Hasler said.

And he has.

Winston and Ed meet for two hours each Thursday. So far they’ve been together for about 40 hours.

“Winston and I have actually really connected. We seem to be alike in things,” Byrge said. “He actually helps me with the reading and with the vocabulary and the things I’ve been struggling with in school, that I’ve been having problems with, Winston’s just been helping me like never before.”

Eleanor Arno is an instructor with 30 years of literacy experience. She helps train volunteer tutors like Wynn.

“He has all the characteristics we would look for in a good tutor. He’s patient. He’s willing to devote the time around his partner, Ed,” Arno said.

“Ed is signed up for a class in auto mechanics and his last question to Wynn was, ‘will you help me with the books?’ That’s exactly the kind of thing that our tutors do, they take what the students need and that’s what they use as their manual.”

Macomb Literacy Partners is a non-profit organization that relies largely on volunteers. Wayne State University provides office and meeting space in Clinton Township.

Arno says about 13 percent of the population in Macomb County could benefit from some kind of help in reading.

“For our tutors, I say, you can teach someone how to read. We need your help and we’ll teach you how to do it,” Arno said.

Reading has always provided a source of pleasure for Winston. He hopes Ed will one day enjoy it just as much and that Ed’s job prospects improve as a result of their work together.

“If eventually, down the line, I can get this young man into a new job I will feel that I’ve really accomplished something,” Hasler said.

If you’d like to get reading help from a tutor, call 2-1-1.

To volunteer to be a tutor, click here to go to the Reading Works website.

 

 

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