RICHMOND—Many of us take the ability to read for granted, but it's a skill some adults in our community struggle with every day.
Harriet Scruggs, a recipient of this year's Valentine Richmond History Center History Makers award, has made it her passion to share the gift of literacy.
She's a doting mother of two and grandmother of four, but the lives she's helped shape expand well beyond her family tree. Harriet Scruggs is the executive director of the READ Center, a program assisting anyone 18 and older who can't read or has difficulty reading.
"We have adults here who have extraordinary skills but are struggling readers, are able to work in jobs that you wouldn't imagine because they keep the fact that they can't read a secret," Scruggs says.
Lifting the veil on illiteracy—and the stereotypes associated with it—are part of Scruggs' mission at seven reading sites in the Richmond area. One-on-one time with tutors allows struggling readers to enhance their lives.
"They talk about wanting to read to a child, helping children with homework, being able to get a job, going for a promotion, being able to get a driver's license, reading street signs," Scruggs says.
Scruggs puts the spotlight on their accomplishments, preferring to work behind the scenes, and was humbled to learn she's won this year's History Makers award.
"When I got the call I said 'do you have the right number?'"
She's using the honor to raise the bar—focusing on her new students, new tutors and big fundraising goals—giving the gift of literacy, one word at a time.
"When I started it was not to end here."
Scruggs will join four other winners at the History Makers celebration on Oct. 15.
Click here for ticket information.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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