When Sarah Davis found the MultiLit Literacy Centre in Bella Vista, she found a solution to her challenges with literacy.
Sarah Davis was ready to take on a promotion to executive assistant at a large arborist company, as well as studying a Certificate IV in business administration — but she felt something was holding her back.
“I was practical and sporty at school, but when it came to English, I struggled with it. For my course, I had to do presentations and speak. I didn’t have the confidence to read out loud, because I thought I sounded funny, so I wanted to improve my literacy, my spelling and reading,” says Sarah.
When Sarah’s mum found the MultiLit Literacy Centre in Bella Vista she thought it looked like a good opportunity to address her daughter’s challenges. To help empower her, Sarah’s employer provided financial support so she could attend sessions with Centre Manager, Margaret Rees, twice a week for two terms.
While going back to basics as an adult learner was tough, it was essential. Sarah was never taught letter-sounds correctly at school, and her experience at the MultiLit Literacy Centre was an eye-opener.
“I was very embarrassed to start off with, because I felt I was going backwards. But to move forward, that was what I had to do. Margaret was amazing, very supportive,” says Sarah. “It was hard, and I cried because I hated feeling like I had to start all over again – especially as an adult. But when you see those improvements, you know why you are doing it.”
Sarah saw the greatest changes in her reading fluency and spelling. The tutoring and her newfound skills helped her successfully complete her Certificate IV qualification. But perhaps the biggest change was the confidence she gained in the workplace.
“Now I do presentations and I’m a lot more comfortable with my leadership teams. Before, being up the front in meetings, writing on the whiteboard and having people look at you, was just impossible. Now I’m more likely to say, ‘Let me write it’. I feel so much better in myself, my confidence, my speaking, my work – everything.”
Sarah is keen to return to the MultiLit Literacy Centre to build on what she has learned so far.
Her advice for other adults who might be thinking about getting some support with their literacy?
“Don’t be afraid to go backwards to go forwards. People don’t realise what they might have missed out on. Do it. Just do it!”