IT WAS a proud moment for teachers, parents and community members as they watched the most recent participants in the Exodus Tutorial Program graduate.
The 16 hard-working students who were enrolled in the program due to literacy difficulties each presented a speech in front of a large crowd and read aloud from one of their favourite books.
This was the 24th group to graduate from the program, which provides students with the literacy skills needed for high school.
Teachers congratulated the graduates for their hard work and acknowledged the significant progress seen in only 87 days.
Founder of the Gladstone Centre, Chris Tanner, said it was a morning of celebration.
"Just the amount the children have learnt and the way they presented themselves today, was wonderful," Mr Tanner said.
Another highlight of the morning was the presentation of donations from several community groups.
Rio Tinto Alcan, the Rotary Club of South Gladstone and Rotary Club of Port Curtis presented the program with $10,000.
Mr Tanner said the funds would go towards the costs of running the program.
Below are two student's stories of improvement.
Student story: Comprehension better
DJNARA Ingra (11) tells it like it is.
"We've done a lot of hard work over 18 weeks," she said.
"We get to celebrate what we've accomplished."
Before undertaking the Exodus program, Djnara struggled with comprehension.
Mum Katrina Ingra was aware that her daughter was having difficulties but didn't know the best way to help.
"She tries really hard at school but she needed the extra help," she said.
"The program has been a blessing."
"We've seen a huge improvement with her reading and comprehension."
Student story: Words come easier now
TWELVE-year-old Bailey Cameron beamed from ear to ear as he received his Exodus Tutorial certificate .
Bailey said the day was a celebration of lots of hard work.
Like all of the graduates, Bailey has shown excellent progress since enrolling in the program.
"I couldn't pronounce words," he said. "I kept losing my spot reading and punctuation was hard."
For Bailey, the difference is momentous.
"It's much easier, I can read bigger books," he said.
"My favourite book is the Hunger Games."