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Dorothy Mitchell

Mrs. Dorothy Mitchell was asked to tell a story about her experience with literacy and how she became comfortable with it. She included aspects of her adolescent church activities that assisted her learning.

The earliest connection to reading came from simple index cards in church. Her desire to keep up with older children and understand what the cards said encouraged reading when she was young. Dorothy continued to explain her appreciativeness toward her Sunday school instructors for encouraging reading, but her story ventured into a deeper kind education as she grew older; poise and organization. Compared to other individuals explaining their reading-based educational backgrounds, Dorothy began to course into more communal-based learning recollections. "We had little charm classes in the church. And this taught me how to present myself to other people, and how to conduct myself. My social behavior also developed because of this." This tangent element of her story of literacy reflects a part of education not dominant in other narratives. Having an "extended family" teaching you propriety and literacy, cohesively, created a skill-set for Mrs. Mitchell much more confident than other African-American females of her time. Having been so reliable and hard working in her projects and groups, Dorothy explained that she had expectations for herself and others in her growing church family.

I always wanted to be an educated woman. Because of my church and the things that were taught to me and the things that I did in church to improve myself, and because of the encouragement of the quote, "mothers" of the church. Now, my church . . . we believed in a concept, although it's more . . . it's recent that we've heard it, it takes a village to raise a child.

A brilliant concept that emerged as those words were spoken, Mrs. Mitchell gave connection and value to the method in which she was raised in her congregation. Today, she uses her education to educate others in her community and church family. Dorothy displays desire to educate the youth and share her gift of education with others in general; the church, young women, students. Therefore, education is not just present in the appearance of literacy here, but as a congregation educating its young people to become strong individuals. Representing community in this exhibit, Mrs. Mitchell has acted as a beacon of education through literacy for people around her. Encouraging wholeness in children and young adults in her community through literacy and personal conduct, education radiates through Dorothy Mitchell's testimony.

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