Martina’s Story

Martina Treacy speaks about how joining an Adult Literacy Group with Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) was one of the best decisions she ever made.

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) helped Martina Treacy from Kilkenny get a second chance at education.  Martina’s previous classroom experience while growing up had been fraught and challenging due to unrecognised dyslexia, a condition that at the time was underdiagnosed and widely unsupported.  “I didn’t have a great education in school,” says Martina.  “I was put in the back of classrooms and nobody wanted to teach me because I couldn’t read or write properly. I hated school so much.”

Martina Treacy, holding an ESF+ booklet. She is standing on a balcony. The cityscape in the background is blurred. In spite of her negative childhood experience, Martina made the decision to reach out to KCETB to access literacy supports. With the help of KCETB, Martina learned to build her reading, writing, and digital skills.

Adult literacy provision has evolved and changed over the years. Traditionally, it focused on reading and writing. Today, it includes all of the foundation skills related to reading, writing, numeracy and digital literacy, plus the confidence to use them.

Adult literacy services provide a valuable free and confidential service to adults across the country.

Co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union through the ESF+, Adult Literacy provision is offered by the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) around the country free of charge. The ESF+ supports the implementation of the national 10 year Adult Literacy for Life Strategy led by SOLAS and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science. The Strategy aims to ensure that every adult has the necessary literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy to fully engage in society and realise their potential.

Since joining the KCETB Adult Literacy Group, Martina has successfully completed a Level 3 Award in Childcare.  In addition to this achievement, she has also been able to realise her own personal goals such as reading to her one-year-old grandson. “I feel great, I have my confidence back,” she says.

When asked what advice she would give to others considering accessing literacy supports, Martina makes it clear that the programme has worked for her. “I’d say to anyone that is going back to education that once you walk through those doors that it’s be best thing that you’ll ever do. I’d encourage anyone to go back and go through those doors.”

Read More Case Studies