MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - In a small cubicle at the Central Alabama Laubach Literacy Council in Montgomery Andew 'Woody' Woodcock is showing his trademark patience.
One word at a time, one syllable at a time.
Woodcock is slowly but surely teaching a young lady how to read. It's an all-too familiar story of missed opportunities, a world in which she was never introduced to books, never read to as a child.
"The common story is they came from poverty and never learned to read for themselves," said Woodcock.
The client is a businesswoman who declined to be interviewed for this story. We will show Woody's care and sheer determination to help the woman gain confidence and improve her self-image.
It takes time yet it's all part of what makes Woody tick.
"That's what it's really all about, seeing them grow and seeing what you give them," said Woodcock.
Two Montgomery civic groups recently recognized Woody's time as a volunteer in the River Region. 5 pages of his background show he retired from the U.S. Air Force and started volunteering nearly 20 years ago and hasn't stopped.
Woodcock became involved in a book drive, tutored countless elementary students and became only the second member of Montgomery's Exchange Club to win the 'Book of Golden Deeds Award' for volunteerism.
Mr. Woodcock even got his picture made with former President George W. Bush.
But it is here in a quiet corner where Woody Woodcock feels his impact is far more profound, longer lasting.
"I've had people get better jobs," Woodcock said proudly.
Another story that makes Woody smile.
"A kid said to me before he left 'I made the honor roll.' I haven't been able to take the person yet from no skills to getting their GED. That's my dream," said Woodcock.
A dream Woodcock keeps on dreaming. On this day Woody Woodcock works with his client on spelling and according to Woody, she's making progress.
"Her words are perfect and she's doing well," said Woodcock.
One word Woody Woodcock is unlikely to have the lady spell is 'retirement.' He's too busy and having too much fun making a difference.