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My First Lesson This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   After I broke four bones playing soccer during my senior year, I decided to get involved with Literacy Volunteers in order to occupy my time in a meaningful way.

Once I completed 18 hours of training, I was assigned to Chris, a 34-year-old painter attending Adult Education classes. At our first meeting, Chris and I got started with a workbook. I soon realized that he couldn't read much better than a second grader. As we studied word families, Chris had a problem pronouncing words that began with the "qu" sound. We targeted these words as "sight words" and put them aside until the end of the lesson. With each exercise I began to get more excited about Chris' progress. By the end of our three-hour meeting, Chris was able to pronounce his sight words with dignity and a sense of accomplishment.

On the way home, I got so excited at what he had already achieved. Chris left our meeting with hope and confidence because someone took the time to care. I consider it a privilege to help him because of the lesson he has taught me: learning has no time limits. fl

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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