Camille McPherson: Reading Changes Everything

“This has been amazing. It was a blessing,” Camille says about her experience with Literacy Partners. Camille came to New York with her family from the Caribbean. After seeing a flyer at a parent’s meeting in her children’s school, Camille signed up for a Literacy Partners class to get her diploma and have more access to jobs.

Literacy Partners changed how Camille spent time with her family. “This class changed my life so much,” Camille says. “The parent engagement that they taught us and how to read with your kids was so important. When you grow up in the Caribbean, you don’t read that much to your children. Going to Literacy Partners classes, I learned that I have to put in time to read with my son and daughter.”

Reading has made a huge change in the household with her son, eleven-year-old Clevon, and her daughter, three-year-old Clevecia. As part of the Literacy Partners Books of Their Own program, both Clevon and Clevecia received new children’s books to read with Camille.

“One of my daughter’s favorite books that Literacy Partners provided is by Jacqueline Woodson. My kids both love when I read to them before sleep. My daughter tells me, ‘Mommy, listen, we have to have time to read!’ and then we go to bed. She’s so engaged – if I miss one night of reading, I can’t miss the next one.”

Reading has not only brought them closer, but it has affected Clevon’s grades, too – his reading levels have increased from a 2 to a 3! “When I went to school and he saw me reading for science and social studies, he would go and do his homework and say, ‘Mommy, I’m going to read too!’”

Camille is looking forward to celebrating her diploma at graduation with her family and members of her church, who have supported her throughout her studies. Camille thanks her teacher, Phil Cameron, for his patience and diligence with his students. After graduation, Camille plans to go to college and get her degree. Her goal is to go into the medical field as a nurse or medical assistant, with the intention of helping and taking care of others.

Learn more about our high school equivalency classes here.

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