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A Better Life

Olivia is 26 year old Hispanic student with an ESE high school diploma who works for the Polk County School Board as a custodian in Medulla Elementary School. She has good conversational English skills and also speaks Spanish at home. She came to READ Lakeland to improve her reading and writing skills with a long term goal of continuing her education to get a degree in early childhood education. She also wants to help her four year old daughter learn so she will have a strong start in school. Olivia has worked with her tutor to improve her vocabulary and basic writing skills as well as reading skills.

She was recently recognized as the 2011 School Related Employee of the Year at Medulla Elementary. According to the nominating statement, “she does more work before 7:30 than some people do all day.” The nominating committee statement continues to say, “She takes time out of her busy day to instruct students on their manners, teaching them to say please and thank you, to open doors for people and many other things that many of them are not taught these days.” Olivia also helps the school officials by interpreting for Spanish speaking parents. READ Lakeland is proud to have the opportunity to work with a young woman who desires a better life for herself as well as her child. Olivia has improved her reading skills and achieved many of her literacy goals through hard work and support from caring tutors. There are many success stories at READ Lakeland, but there are many more adults in Lakeland that need our help.