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I Learned to Read at 54

  • Broadcast in Self Help
Bright Side with Tekneshia

Bright Side with Tekneshia


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The day Archie Willard lost his thirty-one year job as a laborer at a meat packing company, he was forced to confront the secret he had held so closely for most of his life: at the age of fifty-four, he couldn’t read. For all his adult life, he’d been able to skirt around the issue. But now, forced to find a new job to support his family, he could no longer hide from the truth.

Last Reader Standing is the story of Archie’s amazing—and often painful—journey of becoming literate at middle age and the added burden of struggling with the newfound knowledge of his dyslexia. Archie emerged as a national figure who continues to enlighten professionals into the world of the learning disabled. He joined first lady Barbara Bush on stage for her Literacy Foundation’s fundraisers where she proudly introduced him as “the man who took advantage of a second chance and improved his life.”

This is a touching and poignant story that gives us an eye-opening view of the lack of literacy in our society, and how important it is for all of us to have the opportunity to become all that we can be—to have hope and go after our dreams.