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Illiterate Until 54 with Advocate Archie Willard and Writer Colleen Wiemerslage

  • Broadcast in Education
A Fine Time for Healing

A Fine Time for Healing


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The day Archie Willard lost his thirty-one year job as a laborer, 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. Now having to support his family he had to face the truth.

Anxious to tell his story and spread his passion for advocating literacy, Archie Willard, a "new reader" asked his friend, Colleen Wiemerslage, a retired educator and writer to write his memoir for him. Colleen agreed and Last Reader Standing was birthed.

This book tells the story of Archie’s painful but amazing journey as a dyslexic becoming literate at middle age. It 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.

Archie Willard emerged to become a national and international figure who continues to enlighten professionals into the world of the learning disabled. He joined Barbara Bush on stage for her Literacy Foundation's fundraiser where she proudly introduced him as "the man who took advantage of a second chance and improved his life."

Archie Willard and Colleen Wiemerslage are both with us today to tell us about this uplifting, enlightening, inspiring story.