by Literacy Volunteers and Advocates on 03/28/14
Heather Kuta spent years in the Coast Guard protecting our nation's shoreline. Now, she continues to serve by volunteering as a tutor with LVA and teaching a math class at Wardman Court.
Heather's latest detail is to assist with administrative tasks at the LVA office. Characteristically, Heather, who was raised in a military family, is pleased to accept the extra assignment.
"I knew I'd have free time when I left the Coast Guard," she explains, adding that her mother was a literacy tutor when her father was stationed in North Carolina. But Heather's work extends beyond a sense of obligation to carry on her mother's good work.
"I love to read. It frustrates me that there are other adults who cannot share in the same pleasure," Heather explains. What is satisfying about the math class she instructs is "the small victories" she sees happen.
"It's always very exciting when someone in a math class grasps a concept they had previously not been able to master."
Math literacy is important and Heather agrees too little emphasis has been placed on upgrading the poor math skills that too many DC adults possess. But those small victories in math that matter to Heather can yield a big pay-off for the learners.
Many occupations, notes Heather, including those such as dressmakers and construction workers, must be able to make precise measurements. People who shop for their families can benefit by knowing how to calculate percentages so they can figure out the prices of items being sold at discounts.
Heather says, "It is exciting to see people who have been told constantly throughout their lives that they cannot do things set out to prove to those people that they are more capable in many, many ways."