Lily and Ailee posing for a picture.
Kelly Carreon knew that her granddaughters, Lily and Ailee, already struggled so much with reading. The support services they had been receiving for years at school weren’t helping and distance learning during COVID made it worse. Kelly searched for tutoring specialized in learning disorders to help them catch up and found KidsQuest. Since enrolling the girls in January, they’ve been able to access trained tutors and the Barton Reading & Spelling System at no cost. Kelly says,
“I can’t express enough how much it means that there are people out there who care. When I pick them up from their tutoring sessions, they’re just beaming.”
Here’s our interview with Kelly…
LearningQuest (LQ): Tell us about education and literacy in your family.
Kelly (K): As far as I can remember, I have never had problems with learning. I went all the way up to college, but I didn’t get my degree. Still, I never really struggled so when I saw my granddaughters (Lily, 11 years old, and Ailee, 9 years old) struggling, I really was kind of at a disadvantage. I didn’t understand that there were people who actually struggled in comprehending or learning. It honestly opened my eyes to something I didn’t really understand.
So when they were struggling, I didn’t know how to handle it. I did my research and looked around, but ultimately I felt like I didn’t have the tools to help them myself. Their mother never had difficulty with reading, writing, or math. Now that I think about it, my mother (their great grandmother) had a lot of difficulty with learning. She struggled a lot with it. I wonder if it skipped generations. I see some similarities between the girls and my mother. When COVID happened and they started to do distance learning at home, I started seeing they were having trouble. I knew that with the school, I mean they do the best they can with what they have, but the school programs didn’t seem to be enough to help them. They’ve been going to those since they were in kindergarten or first grade I believe.
LQ: What is it that keeps you committed to helping your grandchildren reach their literacy goals?
K: I worried. I want them to get all the help they need so they don’t have to struggle their whole lives. I don’t want them to be at a disadvantage in life. It makes me so happy to see them making strides. As I said, I have seen how their enthusiasm has increased when it comes to learning. When I pick them up from their tutoring sessions, they are just beaming. They feel so accomplished in what they do and it makes me proud. We love reading with them. Just the other day, the youngest was asking my husband, “I want Piggy and Gerald books grandpa!” He saw the books at Target the other day and we read it together. Both of their enthusiasm has changed dramatically since starting the program.
LQ: How has KidsQuest helped your family?
K: I’ve looked into the different systems like the Barton system and they are just so expensive. You know, some of these programs are hundreds of dollars. So it was really nice to find out there was a free program out there that would help them. I saw a flyer one day and quickly took a picture. I can’t express enough how much it means to me that there are people out there who care. Because of them, there is a program like this to help people at no extra cost. I wish I could thank every single one of the supporters in person. Their tutors have been just so great. Domonique and Daniela have been incredible with them. The girls never feel put down or anything by them and it just seems like a perfect fit. Thank you for what you do.
LQ: What advice do you have for parents with children who are struggling with reading and writing?
K: Just be patient. Patience is key, especially during these times. Patience is key.
Lily and Ailee reading some of their favorite books.