Gail Collins, Class of 1970


Class of 1970 catching up - L.Vee McGee Berry, Lorraine Washington, and Gail Collins (left to right)

Those who planned to attend the AEC Reunion on May 26, 2018 were asked to tell in two sentences why we were proud of ourselves. 

Well, I am going to tell why in my story.

My mother had the desire to learn how to read so she could read the bible for herself.  My mom, the oldest of seven children, had to stop going to school in the second grade so that she could take care of her siblings while her grandmother went to work; my mom's mother died during childbirth so, along with her grandmother, she took responsibility for her siblings. 

My mom was so selfless and did not ask me for much, but when I was a child, she asked me to teach her how to read. I thought I was teaching her by having her to repeat the words after me; but what did I know? Unfortunately, as much as I tried, she was never able to read. Thanks to the AEC, I know now a little more about what it takes to teach reading.

After working for ten years in the business world, I used my education from AEC as a stepping stone to a higher education. I attended the University of New Orleans where I earned an Undergraduate Degree in Secondary Education and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

How does our homework assignment fit into my story? I am proud of myself because I honored my mom's memory by also becoming a Reading Specialist. Although she never achieved her goal, each time a child beamed proudly for being a success, I could feel the love of my mom in my heart and hear her saying, "Thank you!" and smiling down on me.