Literacy, You, and Me

Literacy is the ability to read, write, and comprehend proficiently. Those who are literate have the world by the tail. They can get through school without the stigma of being insufficient; without the pressure of being “found out”’; without the crushing weight of feeling they are unworthy, unnecessary, and less than everyone around them. They can complete a driver’s license program, a job application, voter registration, and so much more. They can locate grocery items in a store and understand a business agreement with a contractor. They can write a newsletter for their favorite cause and write books that entertain, enlighten, and encourage.

In most cases, where the root of the lack of learning is not a physiological one, you and I have the power to change people’s lives for the better. Yes, our Foundation grant programs are a great way to help people to learn to read and your donated dollars will go to good use, I promise. But there are other ways we can help, too.

Igniting a passion for reading, writing, and storytelling in very young children is a gift they will never outgrow, and it gives them amazing tools for successful lives. That passion is often ignited by reading to them long before they can read for themselves. The words, the personal attention, the excitement of the reader all make the kind of fundamental difference to their psyche that will see them well into adulthood. They will be confident and eager learners with a good disposition. Literacy is not only good for them, their families, their communities, and our nation, but it is the one skill that can ultimately change the world.

Is there an early reading program near you that you can volunteer with? Check with your local library and ask if you can help others to learn to read and write. Is there a senior center that might be interested in having young people come and read with the elders? Multi-generational interactions are proven scientifically to be hugely beneficial to all the parties concerned.

Whether your kids and grandchildren are reading to dogs and cats, one another, you, or their grandparents, encourage them to read. Be a part of giving them the gift of a lifetime.

Hope to see you at the library!

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