Founder of literacy centre wins national volunteer award
CHRIS Tanner seemed humble as he approached the podium to receive his award at Gladstone Library.
Yesterday the founder of the Exodus Tutorial Centre was acknowledged for changing the lives of almost 400 Gladstone children as part of the National Volunteer Awards.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd hand-picked the notable Gladstone resident after 12 years of building the Exodus Tutorial Centre from the ground up.
The centre is responsible for teaching students in Years 5, 6 and 7 who have literacy problems.
Mr Tanner said he was surprised by the win.
"The award lifts the profile of the centre...the more people in Gladstone that understand what we are trying to achieve the better," he said.
Teacher Merilyn Daley, who will spend her final day teaching at the centre today, described Mr Tanner as a passionate person who loved his job.
"He knows what he wants and how he's going to achieve it," she said.
Long-time companion and teacher Kayci Kirk nominated Mr Tanner for the award.
When asked whether she thought Mr Tanner was deserving of the award, her response was quite simple.
"Absolutely. The award couldn't have gone to a more deserving person."
The Exodus Tutorial Centre operates out of South Gladstone State School.
Each semester 12 students across Gladstone are nominated by their teachers to attend the 18-week "literacy boot camp".
"The students are at least two years behind their chronological age in reading and comprehension," Mr Tanner said.
And he is already looking ahead to the 2013 school year.
"We already have selected students for the first half of 2013 and they come from Clinton State School, Calliope State School and Mt Larcom State School," he said.
What is Exodus?
- Founded in 2001 by Chris Tanner.
- Aimed at students who struggle with reading and writing.
- 18-week program.
- Students between Year 5-7.