Celebrating Our Journey

About the projectcelebrating our journey-vol.10

The project was envisioned to encourage new readers to take another leap in their learning process, to put pen to paper, and to write their stories of growth and discovery to share with others.

The ability to communicate is the ability to connect to our own history, our families, and the world.  The stories in these collections celebrate the power of adults who improved their ability to communicate by learning to read as adults.

This project is funded  by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.

View the 2019 publication of Celebrating our Journey, Volume 11.



It is always a joy to introduce the newest Celebrating Our Journey, and this 10th volume is indeed a cause for celebration!

This time around, adult learners chose from five different writing categories to relate their Greatest Successes, describe their Favorite Places or their Favorite Days, and tell us about the Heroes in their lives. Some of them dip their toes into the art of Poetry, discovering that they can take those words that they now can read and weave them into a creation of their own.

Look beyond the categories of the stories though and you will discover some deeper themes: Faith. Determination. Courage. Gratitude.

Story after story, I am amazed at the tenacity of spirit these adult learners exhibit as they strive for a better education and a better life.

And as they reach for their goal, they never forget to express gratitude—for their faith, their families, their friends, and for those who are helping them master new skills. In turn, they teach all of us what it means to confront challenges with grace, humility, hope, and hard work.

So, here’s a toast to the writers of this 10th collection of life stories by Oklahoma adult learners. We can’t wait to see what the future brings your way.

Susan McVey
Director, Oklahoma Department of Libraries


My Favorite Place

I grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. My dad came from Cape Cod. So my sisters and brothers and I spent our summers there at my grandmother’s house. We would spend time down at the dock watching my cousin’s fishing boats come in.

On Sunday mornings, I would listen to the sound of people walking on the sand and talking on their way to church, and I would listen to church bells ringing. Sometimes we would go uptown to the main beach to watch the whales or go clamming.

We would take the clams home to mother and she would make clam chowder and clam cakes. When I was young, the sea was so blue and clean. People would throw coins into the water and the boys would dive down and get them. My memories of summers on Cape Cod are the best.

Lois Thurston
Creek County Literacy Program, Sapulpa
Celebrating Our Journey, Vol. 10, page 128


See all stories in Volume 11.