Wanda LilesWanda Liles is a special lady at Perry Wellness Center. She listens to the wishes of peers, then sets out to help fulfill these wishes. As we’ve shared with you before, Wanda once heard an individual express his desire to improve his reading skills. She promptly established a reading improvement groups. Now each morning she meets with five peers, helping them practice their reading skills and even giving homework assignments!

Wanda has now taken her commitment to reading improvement into the community. Recently she attended Ms Liles’ class at Sarah Cobb Elementary School, where she spoke on the importance of staying in school and developing good reading skills.

During her visit, there were a few tearful moments as Wanda connected with the eager young people. “I had thought they would be scared of me in my wheelchair,” she explained. “They greeted me with open arms and were like my own grandchildren.”

Taking her message on the road is something which Stuart Perry definitely supports: “We know of the challenges of the classroom and of keeping kids in school. We want our peers, as older adults, to share the excitement of reading improvement and the need to stay in school.”

Stuart has seen firsthand the difference that one motivated individual like Wanda Liles can make. Currently several peers are seeking their GED certification, and one peer is enrolled at South Georgia Technial College. Other are reading successfully for the first time in their lives.

Wanda plans to continue her efforts, saying: “This has been a fun and rewarding program. I have enjoyed seeing other peers realize how important reading is in life. I look forward to great successes.”

We look forward also to seeing her put some more smiles on the faces of young children in the classroom, as she did in the photo above. Left to right with Wanda are: Niegeria Larkins, Makyrah Rutherford, Town Boone, and Rodarious Lewis.

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