The Story of Frank
For years, Frank hid his lack of reading and writing skills from his coworkers. He kept a small black book and headed into a corner to look up words he needed to complete shift reports. Although this strategy allowed Frank to cope with his job, it held him back from increased responsibilities. When Frank’s supervisor recommended a promotion for his dedication and strong work ethic, his poor literacy skills made this impossible.
When Frank was nine years old, his family emigrated from Portugal to Canada. The transition was particularly difficult for Frank who suddenly needed to learn a new language and discover a new culture. Struggling to manage a large class, teachers in Frank’s school were unable to provide him with the individualized help he needed to learn to read and write. He quickly lost ground in school—Frank grew up thinking he wasn't as smart as the other kids. At fifteen, Frank left school and went to work to help support his family. Although Frank’s school years were filled with frustration and failure, as an adult he was willing to try again.
With encouragement and financial support from his employer, the Husky Corporation, Frank came to the Stern Center for an educational evaluation that determined he has dyslexia, a learning disability that makes learning to read and write difficult. For Frank, gaining literacy skills was even more challenging because English was his second language.
Once Frank understood his learning difference, he began an instruction program at the Stern Center. After two years of instruction focused on how he best learns, Frank gained the literacy skills he needs for work and life. When Frank first came to the Stern Center he had first grade literacy skills. He is now reading and writing at an 8th grade level. Frank wrote his first ever letter to his wife and for the first time read a bedtime story to his youngest daughter. Frank wants all those who struggle with learning to know, “It's never too late to get help or get tested. Don't be afraid to admit that you can't do it. If you are open, you will get help.”