Bobby Cote - Lions' Learner Achievement Award Winner 2016
It is a privilege to work with READ Saskatoon and my tutor Dale. I heard about READ Saskatoon from people where I am taking adult education classes. When they told me I could get a free tutor, I couldn’t believe it. I had never heard of a program like this, not in any of the places that I went to school before.
It is an honour to work with Dale, he is a very good tutor. When I speak and work with him to read and write I understand words better. When I read, then he reads with me, it makes lots of sense. Now I don’t forget stories.
Our work makes me think different from before, opens my mind more to thinking than to small things, and opens my eyes. We have been talking about my culture and background and school. I am glad to have that privilege, to speak about that with a tutor. We have good communication that is really beautiful. It makes me feel like a real good person.
We are writing a story together about back home - about how school and town were tough. I was a slow reader and it made it hard to get good grades. I did not fit in, my math was good, but I was left out because of my reading and writing skills. Now I am reaching goals that I have worked and wished for. I never thought I’d open my mind that much, and it brightens me up.
Right now I am taking Adult Education classes. I speak up more than before in class. It has also made me do more homework! I am reading more, understanding better, and I am more able to figure out what things mean. I am helping others in my class now – they ask me questions and I help them figure things out too. I was telling one guy the other day about how it has helped me to work with my tutor. I told him he could come to READ Saskatoon if he wants to see for himself. I said they have nice people there and that it is free.
I plan to stay on as long as possible. READ Saskatoon and working with Dale have really helped me out. It has brought me a long way, has brought me to goals outside, not just inside. If I continue working at it, someday I can be what I want: a business person working at a desk, running a hotel or a motel.
It is an honour to be a part of the program. I can’t thank READ Saskatoon or my tutor Dale more for what I am getting. It is bringing me to a light I have never before been a part of. I feel happy joyful, and proud of who I am.
Bobby Cote is a member of the Saulteaux First Nation. He struggled in school, especially with reading, and felt that this was holding him back from reaching his goals. In 2015, he came to READ Saskatoon to work with a tutor to develop stronger literacy skills. It is READ Saskatoon’s honour to name Bobby Cote as the recipient of our 2016 READ Saskatoon PGI Lions’ Learner Achievement Award.