What does literacy mean to you? Does it mean something special or is it something you’ve never thought about? Did you grow up being read to as a child and surrounded by advantages of education? Not everyone in America, or Ohio for that matter, has had the same opportunities as others. From what I can remember, I wasn’t read to as a child but I did have the opportunity to go to school and earn my high school diploma.
According to Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, one in six adults in America have low literacy skills and one in three have low numeracy skills. Years ago when I was a stay-at-home mother, I was a reading tutor and was surprised and saddened by the number of children who were reading below their expected level. But once I started working and volunteering with other organizations, I forgot about the problem.
When I began working for Project Learn four years ago, I was reminded about the many adults and children who need help learning how to read, write and acquire basic math skills. It has become very important to me to do what I can to help and advocate for those who have literacy needs.
I am asking you to think about who you may know in this situation. What can you do? The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland has come up with a list of 10 things we can do to help those in literacy need. They include:
- Get informed about crucial issues related to literacy.
- Volunteer as a tutor.
- Read to someone or with someone for 20 minutes a day.
- Take a child to the library.
- Urge a friend to sign up for a literacy or GED program.
- Ask your employer about setting up a workplace literacy program.
- Launch a book seminar at your job.
- Join the Little Free Library movement.
- Make a financial donation to help advance literacy initiatives.
- Stay connected with Project Learn or the Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland.
I challenge you to get moving for yourself or for someone else.
– Rose Austin, Data Manager