Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 21st 2014 Contents B8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 21, 2014
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People interested in attending
classes, volunteering as an Alta
tutor/Reading Circle Guide or
sponsoring a student can call
624-ALTA (2582) or 624-3442 in
Port of Spain; 664-2582 in Arima,
653-4656 in San Fernando or visit
Alta's website at alta-tt.org.
This year the Adult Literacy Tutors Association
(Alta) will begin its student registration drive to
attract new students with a special message for
readers and non-readers alike: There is no shame
in learning to read.
The message marks the beginning of Alta s year-
long anti-stigma campaign aimed at promoting
literacy at any age and reminding readers that
support---not shame---is key to non-readers getting
into the Alta classroom.
Alta has crafted this message with the help of
talented spoken-word artistes from the 2Cents
Movement. This partnership will feature 2Cents
poets endorsing this year s slogan: "No shame.
Go brave. Get in. Get through. You can...read!"
through a series of public service announcements.
The ads, which will be aired on radio and tel-
evision from August 24, will give voice to the
reality of non-readers who walk the streets faced
with print in every form on a daily basis.
Inherent in the messages are the challenges of
the information age, but also the great strength
and intelligence non-readers engage to overcome
their daily challenges.
Fear, characterised as a monster rearing its head
to challenge the non-reader, is faced head on with
boldness and resilience aided by the skills learned
in an Alta environment.
"In its 22 years of existence Alta has made free
literacy classes available to adults, through its net-
work of in-house trained volunteer tutors. Our
one challenge has been for the public to come out
and say, Yes, we support non-readers. It has no
shame in that ," CEO and founder of Alta Paula
The constant fear of being made fun of is the
reality faced by many non-readers in our midst.
Recently an Alta Level 1 student was featured on
a popular Facebook page, People of T&T.
The site was flooded with positive comments
praising her courage and encouraging her to per-
severe. The fact that she was seen as a hero and
embraced by a supportive public will inspire other
non-readers to step out of the shadows.
More importantly, this response indicates the
beginnings of a change in attitude from scorn to
admiration for the non-reader---maybe in part to
Alta s work over more than two decades. The time
is right for a full anti-stigma campaign to further
reduce, and ultimately remove, the shame asso-
ciated with low literacy.
This year s campaign has also attracted the sup-
port of the Citizen Security Programme (CSP)
which is working to reach citizens in at-risk com-
munities and with whom Alta has partnered since
In addition to classes in CSP communities, Alta
is inviting adult students 16 years and over who
want to improve their reading and writing skills
to "get in" to a class located in over 50 centres
across the country.
Registration will take place on September 2 and
3, from 9 am to 6 pm, at public libraries in Arima,
Chaguanas, Couva, Point Fortin, Port-of-Spain,
Princes Town, San Fernando, Sangre Grande, San
Juan, Siparia, and Tunapuna; and at the Warrenville
Alta launches anti-stigma campaign
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