Students graduate from the Exodus Tutorial Centre.
Students graduate from the Exodus Tutorial Centre. Brenda Strong

Plenty of smiles as thrilled kids graduate from Exodus

THEY might have thought they could never do it, but yesterday 16 fluent readers and writers graduated from an intensive literacy program at Exodus Tutorial Centre.

With huge smiles, each child proudly read a statement to the crowd of 130-plus parents and community members.

Ten-year-old Adam Dwyer said before doing the program, he couldn't read well and didn't understand instructions.

"Now I'm confident and I can keep up with the rest of my class," he said.

Year 6 student Fraser Hannan said he had always found spelling tests upsetting, but that was now a thing of the past.

"I'm not embarrassed to read aloud," he said, laughingly.

Many tears were shed as parents and grandparents expressed their relief, gratitude and pride.

Teacher-in-charge Susan Dunstan said the students' literacy skills had improved out-of-sight.

Parents, students and teachers were joined by founder of the Gladstone centre and major donor Chris Tanner, Exodus Foundation's Reverend Bill Crews, and heard an inspirational speech from Bechtel's Kevin Berg.

Mayor Gail Sellers and Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham were among distinguished guests, and Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett's son, Mitchell, was among the graduates.