July 6, 2017

Thank you, Mom: From Struggling Reader to Learning Ally Volunteer

Guest Blog by David Matthews-Morgan, Learning Ally Volunteer

I have had difficulties reading my entire life and didn’t enjoy reading for the longest time. Although my difficulties are not related to dyslexia, my visual impairment is that I am left-eye dominant. This means that my brain processes words better when I read from right to left, which is opposite from the way that English text is read. In fact, I find it just as easy to read text upside down because it matches how my eyes track words.

David and his motherAs a young child, I was also very shy (hiding under a table in Sunday School to avoid other children). My mother, Mary Ellen Morgan, decided that she needed to do something about my shyness and took me to an audition for the musical The King and I at the tender age of eight. I was cast as the youngest prince of Siam in the musical, and that started my 52-year journey of theatrical and choral performances in front of audiences. Needless to say, those experiences cured me of my shyness (for the most part).

My mother also read to me and my siblings growing up, Winnie the Pooh books being the most memorable. I carried on the tradition by reading the Redwall series of books by Brian Jacques to my three children, using different British character voices for the different animals in the books (mice, badgers, stoats, rats, rabbits, etc.)

Reading out-loud as well as performing in front of audiences prepared me for the opportunity to help students with reading difficulties as a Learning Ally reader. It has been a very gratifying experience.

Learning Ally LogoDonate to David’s fundraiser in honor of his mother, who taught him to love reading. Or consider creating your own! If you want to honor someone you love by supporting student success please make a gift in their honor or create a fundraising page and ask your family and friends to donate.

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– Jules Johnson


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