Illiteracy has become a major issue in our country with the advent of smartphones and texting. Many of our youth are functionally illiterate, meaning they have basic literacy skills, but not enough to get them employment or function normally in everyday life. This is scary. This means our next generation doesn’t know how to:
- Fill out an application for work,
- Write a simple report or essay for school,
- Put together a resume,
- Write full comprehensive sentences,
- Function in the workplace effectively,
- Pay bills,
- Understand legal and financial documents,
- And/or pursue a secondary education: college or a trade school.
How did this happen? In my opinion, we got lazy. All of us are constantly looking for faster ways to communicate. We invented cell phones, and they evolved into smart phones. Calling was no longer as easy as texting. Texting is the communication between two individuals using either a string of letters or groups of consonants without vowels. There you have it. One of the reasons, I feel, our youth is declining in grammar and syntax. Why type “Before” when it’s so much easier to type “b4”? Because the former is proper and accepted in the workplace and universities, that’s why.
In our schools, when someone shows athletic prowess, the practice to skate them through subjects so they can be scouted out to colleges that will do the same, is still alive and kicking. This means we have high school and college graduates that can’t read, but they can throw footballs, play basketball, and baseball. This contributes to the illiteracy in our country, which hasn’t changed in ten years. (Source: Huffington Post)
Here are some alarming facts:
In 2007, 57% of students that took the California Standards test in English failed it. FAILED IT.
The U.S. ranked 28th in the world for literacy. (http://world.bymap.org/LiteracyRates.html)
Did you know that 44 million adults in this country can’t even read their children a bedtime story? They can’t read a simple story to their child.
Many more cannot read above the 5th grade level. “Are You Smarter than a 5th grader” isn’t looking like a funny show any more, is it?
The NEA states that reading to your children will set them up for success. They will be more motivated to learn, and will be less likely to drop out of school.
They learn to recognize letters, numbers and can count to 20 at an earlier age.
How can you help?
Read to your child. Make the time to sit them down and read to them. Make it fun. Use different voices for the characters. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the accents just right. They will love you for making that story come alive. This will show them a book is a gateway to fantasy worlds where adventures happen every time they open that cover.
There are many organizations out there that help stomp out illiteracy for both children and adults. You can Google those, or you can go to this link:
The above is a link to a “Choose Your Own Adventure Book” that I started on my Facebook page. I started writing the story and gave four options on which direction it can go. Voting ends Sunday 9pm EST, and the winning option continues the story on Monday.
Wait a minute. How does this help stomp out illiteracy?
Very simple. When the book is finished, it will go through a final edit, have a cover made for it, and it will be sold as an e-book for $6.00. All proceeds, and I do mean all, will go the organization that is listed for that book, permanently. There will be more adventures in the future and all those books will have different organizations tied to them as well. All the organizations will be dedicated to helping promote literacy in both children and adults.
Categories: Writing For a Cause