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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Can You Read This? If So, Help!
child discovers the world of books, he or she has truly discovered the
world. Book-lovers, parents, educators,
and literacy experts know the importance and pleasure of reading, and each time
a child crosses the threshold from being read to, to being the reader, it’s as
if a life has been saved. For millions
of people in the United States, literacy is still just a dream, and without
achieving it, they are living a nightmare.
What can be done to give the gift of reading to others?
probably first have to look at who is not reading and why.
functionally illiterate and are elderly.
Some struggle with English as a second language. Some are young school dropouts.
the reason, anyone without a neurological handicap can learn to read, even
those with learning disorders. How many
more special instructors and how much money would it take to make a significant
dent on the literacy problem? I don’t
know, but it seems like the resources should be put there.
what happens for society when we convert an illiterate into a literate person:
become independent people who now can participate not just in life but in
society, government, and public discourse. They can even become teachers themselves.
can perform higher job tasks, making them employable and more productive.
help society grow and evolve. We’re only
as smart as our dumbest people.
become happier, more fulfilled individuals who become contributors, rather than
publishing industry, in particular, could benefit the most from having a bigger
pool of readers and consumers. So would
print and online media outlets.
can or should help us solve this problem?
we need our government and schools to help resolve this problem, but they can’t
do it alone.
need corporate sponsors, volunteer teachers, book donors, and others to help
out, including book publishers and authors.
you be of assistance? Yes. Instead of ignoring or complaining about a
problem, you can be part of the solution.
give your time.
give your ideas.
give your loving support.
give your books.
give your money.
give your advocacy on their behalf.
daughter is nearing seven, in first grade.
I see her adding words to her vocabulary everyday and know that she’ll
soon have that breakthrough moment, where she really can read on her own. But for tens of millions of adults that
breakthrough moment has not come. Is it
too late for them? Not if you – we – can
about we make a social pact with one another and take an honest assessment of
what we each have done this past year to further the cause of literacy in
America. If you’ve done something, do
more. If you’ve done nothing, begin
doing something. Do what’s easiest –
donate books, give money to literacy groups, or ask how you can help. Anything helps, everything counts.
think of how different your life would be without being able to read or enjoy
books and the Internet! Imagine what
worlds you can help open up for others whoa re in the shadows? If we believe in educating our children, we
should also support educating adults.
They were once children.
what illiteracy contributes to:
to DoSomething.org, over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a
fourth-grade level. Many kids who don’t read
proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
in five eighth-graders say they read recreationally almost daily. But 53% of
fourth graders do. We lose our readers
at a young age.
we should start with the areas that need the most help – DoSomething.org says
Long Beach, CA ranked as the most illiterate city in America, followed by Mesa,
AZ and Aurora, CO.
not realize how bad illiteracy is in this country, but it is a significant
problem. We’re still a nation that’s
learning and growing. The burden is on
the educated to help the uneducated.
three Americans have a college degree.
That means for every college graduate, two adults do not have a degree. So it’s a big
burden for the knowers to educate the uninformed, but it must be done if society
is to function at a higher level.
more about literacy and how to help, please consult these resources: