In July 2010, Ventra of Ionia (formerly Meridian) contacted the Ionia County Literacy Council to see if we could assist one of its employees. Ventra and the literacy council had worked together before.
Bert (not his real name), who is from Orleans, had been working at Ventra for 20 years. He had worked his way up to become a hi-lo driver by passing an oral hi-lo driver’s exam.
Bert had done quite well for several years as a hi-lo driver, but during the summer of 2010 he had an accident with the hi-lo truck and was required to retake the hi-lo test for safety reasons. The new testing system was done on a computer. Bert did not pass the test.
As it turned out, Bert had difficulty reading, a fact that he – and many others like him – had successfully hidden throughout his adult life. Bert could usually read simple text, but often was not able to comprehend the meaning of more complex words. Ventra believed that, due to changing requirements, its employees needed to be able to read, so they denied him the opportunity to take an oral exam. They asked that, in addition to helping him study for the hi-lo test, we help him understand other Ventra-related materials to help him do his job more efficiently.
The Ionia County Literacy Council director and a tutor made a visit to Ventra to see how the test was set up on the computer and to get copies of some Ventra materials to use as tutoring texts. The test was rather complex, and the multiple choice answers were often similar, making choices difficult.
The tutor met with Bert and, after testing him to find out his learning style, they discussed a plan of action that would help Bert attain his goal of passing the hi-lo test so he could begin doing that job again. Bert really loves driving hi-lo, but was placed into another position until he could pass the test.
Bert and the literacy council tutor met twice a week for five months studying the hi-lo test and various Ventra manuals pertaining to the hi-lo job.
Bert recently re-took the hi-lo test and this time he passed it. Not with flying colors, but he passed it and can now do the job he really enjoys. Bert has decided to keep tutoring in order to continue to improve upon his reading skills.
The Ionia County Literacy Council’s mission is to promote literacy in Ionia County. We provide small group and individual tutoring to adults in the areas of math, reading, and English as a Second Language.
To learn more about our program and how we might be able to help you or someone you know, or to learn how you can become a volunteer tutor, please call the Ionia County Literacy Council at 616-527-1360 ext 116. You may also visit us online at www.ioniacountyliteracycouncil.org