Kristel was in her twenties when she read her first book. Able to recognise smaller words, it was only when Kristel purchased an electronic reading pen that she became a veracious reader.
Kristel struggled to keep up with her peers at school, mainly falling behind because she couldn’t get the one-on-one support she needed to learn to read.
“I listen to audiobooks and use speech-to-text, but I’ve always wanted to read and write,” Kristel said.
“When I got my reading pen it all clicked,” Kristel said. “The first book I read was Harry Potter!”
An electronic reading pen reads each word aloud as it is swiped across the page and provides dictionary definitions of words that users are unsure of.
So, when Endeavour Foundation announced the Imagine What’s Possible competition to give five people with disability a chance to dream big, Kristel knew what she wanted her dream to be:
“I would love to give my wish to give a c-pen to every school for reading.”
“I remember the last winner, Leigh, did something for someone else and I thought, ‘I already have stuff, and I was thinking about how much I struggled in school.’”
“School kids are still learning, and I want them to learn how to read early on because it is really important,” Kristel said.
Kristel’s dream became a reality when she won and donated 15 electronic reading pens to Southport Special School, sharing her life-changing experience and her love for reading with students.
“I hope that one day there will be a reading pen in every school, but this is a start,” Kristel said.
What’s next for Kristel? “I want to write fantasy books for children,” Kristel said.
With Kristel’s sights set on a new goal, Endeavour Foundation put her in touch with children’s author Candice Lemon-Scott, owner of Big B Books at Burleigh, who is showing her how to write a novel.
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