My Story: How I Gained a Passion for Literacy
Hi, my name is Angie and I am the Public Relations Assistant for Reading Horizons. I have been with the company for just over 6 months and I have learned a lot in my time here. I have just been added to the list of featured bloggers for Reading Horizons and I am excited to begin to share what is happening at Reading Horizons. I have written several of the most recent blog posts through my supervisor’s account. I will now be posting on my own accord and the other featured bloggers will continue to write weekly posts.
I am not an expert on reading or literacy by any means but have discovered my passion for literacy as I have worked for Reading Horizons. It was an unexpected discovery.
When I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing in August of 2009 I was eager for a job and probably applied for over 200 different jobs. When Reading Horizons contacted me for an interview I didn’t remember sending in a resume. I was at the point where I would apply for almost any job I might be qualified for. I was told that because of the high volume of resumes they had received they were having everyone who was interested in the job come during one of several time slots and they would quickly interview everyone. Once I found out that my chances where slim, I was almost tempted to not go to the interview. But because of the difficulty of getting even one job interview, I decided I would go.
When I arrived I sat in a room with at least 10 other people and even as I sat in there I felt discouraged and thought of leaving—but I stayed. I have never been particularly strong when it comes to job interviews but miraculously it went very well. The job I was applying for was a Secretarial position and as I was being interviewed by the President of the company he told me he thought I might be overqualified for the job because I had just received my Bachelor’s degree. In frustration, I burst out: “I’m either overqualified or under-qualified for every job!” On the spot, he started thinking about ways the company could use my Marketing skills and told me to wait for the Marketing Manager to get back from her honeymoon in a week and he would have her call me in for another interview. She wanted to have an employee focus specifically on Public Relations and Social Media within the Marketing department and that’s how I started working at Reading Horizons.
As I have learned more about literacy and reading curriculum I have developed a passion for the subject. Although I thoroughly enjoy and am interested in Marketing my true passion is Psychology (it just didn’t feel right in College). I care a lot about people’s emotions and society as a whole. Even though I care about people I have learned empathy for different emotions at different stages in my life. The most valuable thing I have gained from working at Reading Horizons is empathy and understanding for people who struggle to learn.
In my youth, I would become frustrated by the other students in my classes that couldn’t seem to understand and grasp concepts that I thought seemed so simple and straight forward. Because I excelled in school I had teachers that would often give me special assignments to sit by struggling students and help explain what we were learning. I tried my best to be patient but inside I was frustrated.
Luckily, as I have gained a better understanding of why many people do struggle to grasp concepts from working at Reading Horizons. I will never again think someone is stupid or incapable because they struggle to pick up a concept. I’ve learned a lot about how people’s brains can be wired differently, especially those that struggle with dyslexia. With my fascination in Psychology you would think I would’ve understood that much earlier in life—but I think I was always more interested in personality differences and emotions than by actual brain functioning. But now I firmly believe that when people struggle to learn something it is because of the way their brain is wired or because they are not receiving instructions the way that is best for their individual learning style. That’s why I believe in Reading Horizons elementary reading program and reading intervention curriculum—because it is specifically designed to solve both of those problems. This structured literacy program is multi-sensory by design and engages an individual’s senses (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) in order to activate different parts of the brain. This type of instruction is specifically sequenced to best appeal to struggling readers. I love helping educators and struggling readers become aware of the Reading Horizons program. I receive phone calls daily about how this reading program changes people’s lives. As for me, the knowledge I have gained at Reading Horizons has changed my perspective on life.