An excited crowd gathered June 17 at the Mid-Coast Adult Learning Center in Rockland to celebrate Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine’s 36 years of service to the Midcoast community. The following article is the impressions of Hank Lunn, one of the affiliate board members who has many years experience in the field of education.

Learning center heroes

On June 17, I had the privilege of attending the annual meeting of Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine. Students, family, tutors and friends gathered to celebrate another great year of learning.

As a board member, it was a very moving and important time. I suspect most of the world isn’t very aware of the students who come to the Mid-Coast Adult Learning Center day after day, week after week, to improve their literacy skills. Some come to learn to improve their reading and others work on math and social studies to complete their GED. Still others join the students at the learning center to learn to read, write and speak English. No one has forced them to come. They are there because they want to improve their lives and become more effective members of the community. The pride shared by the students, their tutors and family in recognition of their achievement was wonderful to behold.

As Beth A. Gifford, executive director, spoke about the accomplishments of each student, I wished that the world could have shared that evening and seen these adults who have had difficult experiences in their “school” days glow with pride about what they have been able to achieve. They had learned! Many had never had success before, for all kinds of reasons. But at the learning center, they were honored, respected and given the opportunity to learn at their own pace under the caring and watchful eyes of Beth and the many dedicated tutors.

We don’t often hear the word “love” being used in teaching and learning. At the learning center, that is what is going on. I believe it is the essential ingredient that helps a learner overcome the failure and frustration they may have experienced in many of our schools. At the learning center, they experience unconditional positive regard, receive all the help they need, and develop the skills to reach their goals.

If you want to see and be a part of the exciting learning taking place with students who put their all into the process, come join us at Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine and the Mid-Coast Adult Learning Center. You will be very glad you did.

Hank Lunn
Retired educator
Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine board member

The Mid-Coast Adult Learning Center is collaboration between Literacy Volunteers of Mid-Coast Maine and Regional School Unit 13 Adult Education. To get help with reading, writing or related literacy skills, call 594-5154 or e-mail