“It’s been an interesting journey,” says Janet Speranza-Moran, reflecting on her 13 years with Literacy Volunteers.
Janet currently volunteers on the Communications Committee. Bringing her business experience to bear—she’s co-owner of The Bedworks of Maine—she’s been the chief creator of our public service announcements on television.
To get started, she analyzed PSAs from other literacy groups. “I found this PSA in which a mother and child are reading together. The child comes to the realization that the mother can’t read—that was powerful,” she recalls.
“The PSAs are effective because they are a medium that crosses all boundaries,” she notes. Many students attribute their involvement with Literacy Volunteers to the TV commercials.
A teacher first
Janet has also taught basic literacy, been a tutor trainer, and served on our Board. But it was teaching that came first.
“I left public school teaching to pursue my business aspirations. Once my business was established, I realized how much I missed teaching,” she says. She and her first Literacy Volunteers student worked together for six years. “We developed a friendship, and that seems to be a theme throughout the organization. I got something back personally from tutoring and that’s what feeds this volunteer organization,” she says.
Change and growth
She’s seen changes in the organization. “[We’ve had] such tremendous growth. Not just the increase in the number of students., but more importantly, the level of professionalism and the passion, and the ability to organize. We attract people with enthusiasm for literacy and education. And all this is on a volunteer basis, which is an impressive testament to the power of Literacy Volunteers.”
She’d like to go back to where she started 13 years ago, as a tutor. “I would really like to see this journey come full-circle when the time is right. Until then, I am proud to continue work in my current capacity and be a part of this amazing organization,” Janet says.
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