FACT: Globally, 776 million people cannot read or write (takepart.com).

21 Feb


“Literacy isn’t just about reading books. Reading and writing are tools for eradicating poverty, a means of reducing child mortality, and the key to gender equality.  In today’s rapidly-evolving, high-technology world, illiteracy usually equals unemployment.  An estimated 41-44 percent of adults with basic literacy skills live below the poverty line, compared to 4-8 percent of adults with high literacy rates” (takepart.com). Even if reading isn’t “just about books”, books are the keys to literacy.  Books are the foundation for solving these larger global issues.  In our world, it is my belief that every child deserves the right to a solid education.  Basic needs like food, shelter and clothing should not be optional rights and neither should education.  In order to move society towards these ideals, we must focus on literacy education of children.  Approximately (about.com) 490,000 children are born to our earth each day and each one of these human beings deserves an education that will serve them for their future. Literacy isn’t just about books; it is about changing the world.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”  Thus, literacy is not just about reading the book in-hand; it is about actively participating and making connections.  Books offer us the opportunity to connect to ourselves and others, and to connect to the community and the greater world.

(Excerpt from the 2011 thesis of Emily Vick, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Education/Master of Education)

What YOU can do:

-Find volunteer opportunities in your community (schools, community centers, and libraries) to work with adults and children who need help learning to read.

-Set an example for those around you: turn off the TV and tune into reading!

-Donate your time or money to some great reading projects (these are just a few of the good ones out there!):

bookaid.org (Book Aid International increases access to books and supports literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa.)

theuniproject.org (The Uni Project is dedicated to expanding a culture of learning beyond the walls of schools and libraries and into public space.)

literacyforincarceratedteens.org (Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, Inc. (LIT) is the only non-profit organization of its kind working to end illiteracy among New York’s incarcerated young people by inspiring them to read.)




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