Leonard won a literacy award

In 2005, each province and territory gave a literacy award to one learner. Leonard Duby won the Alberta award.




Leonard has had a hard life. Many things happened to him. But he never gave up.

  • Leonard was in a car accident when he was nine. He and his dad were hurt very badly. His two sisters died. His mom left the family after the accident.




  • Leonard had to learn many things after the accident. He had problems walking, talking and remembering things.




  • Two years later, Leonard got very sick. He had to relearn some things again!




  • In 1988, Leonard’s daughter was born.




Then Leonard got very sick again. He was 26 years old.


  • Leonard had an accident at work in 1988. His left hand was badly injured.

Learned to read

Leonard decided to improve his reading after he hurt his hand. He wanted to read stories to his daughter.

Leonard took some reading programs. He had a tutor too. Later, he took upgrading classes. He worked very hard.




Now Leonard works full time at a big grocery store in Calgary. He is still improving his reading and writing.

Leonard writes letters. He reads many kinds of books. He feels comfortable in libraries too.

Helps others

Leonard is a volunteer with a literacy group. He talks to people about literacy and about his life.

Some people decide to go back to school after they listen to him. He says, “It takes courage to be an adult learner.”

This article first appeared in the January 2006 issue of English Express.

2009 update

  • Leonard still has a tutor. They meet once a week. Leonard can read very well now.
  • Leonard has worked at the grocery store for 12 years.

    Customers ask Leonard questions about food every day. So Leonard practices reading food labels with his tutor.




Click here to download a learning exercise