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~Promoting Literacy in America~

Today's youth will be tomorrows leaders. It's up to us to help lead them in the right direction. One of the most common problems in todays youth is iliteracy. Reading difficulties promote lower grades, and even failure in educational systems. Our children depend on us to teach them to read. When we do help them to read, we are helping them in so many ways. When we read to our children, we stimulate their growing minds and give them the opportunity to make the right decisions in their lives. This webpage may help offer some ideas about what we can do to help our future presidents, doctors, or whatever it may be.

Here are a couple of interviews.

Here are a few resources to aid you in promoting literacy.

Some helpful information to further your learning/teaching experiences that you can do at your leisure.

Library Information

Here are some printable pages to aid in your learning/teaching experiences that you can do now.

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On a Personal Note: by M, Diamond

This is my personal reflection about my research on literacy. I hope that this will really help you understand how and why promoting literacy is so important. I chose to research literacy because, we all seem to depend on reading and writing. If we had an illiterate society, could you imagine how difficult it would be to communicate with others?

I never thought about how important literacy was until my two-year-old son began to become interested in reading and writing. I quickly saw that he was struggling to succeed, and this hurt me. I then started to wonder why it was so important to teach our society to be literate. I eventually found that if we donít start to do something soon, we might end up as an illiterate nation. Would that be so bad? Who would be president, or who would teach our future children? How would we help keep order?

Now after doing some research I discovered that there are many Americans who are illiterate, more then I could imagine. We must take care of this problem before it becomes an epidemic. So, for a school project I went to a medical clinic and started reading books to children while they waited for their doctorís appointments. I learned many new things. I learned that every culture and religion values literacy in some form, that there are many different levels which people learn to be literate, and that not everyone feels the same as I do on the subject.

Like I said before, promoting literacy is very important. We must act now! Our future and our children's future depend on it.

On a Personal Note: by M, Rae

This experience, the volunteering at the Sea Mar clinic, the interviews, and the research, has given me perspective that I did not have before. I have learned some things about others and realized some things about myself. The volunteering at Sea Mar has been both a pleasure and a trial.

I have found that reading to children, or even just encouraging them to read, has produce in me a sense of satisfaction. It is comforting to see children happy. The eagerness that some possess to read reminds me of when I was younger and how I still love to read. I hope they enjoy the reading they have now, because later in life they will not have the free time to read as they do now. It makes me appreciate my own time a little more.

But aside from a greater appreciation, the experience has also revealed some of my own flaws, flaws that I knew of but that I did not truly understand. There is a fine line between knowing and understanding. I knew that I was not a social person and that my Spanish language skills were limited. I did not however, realize to what degree until I read at Sea Mar. When I first tried to approach and communicate with a stranger who did not speak my language, it proved an embarrassing failure. My lack of social skills and ignorance in Spanish were revealed in stark contrast. It is a humbling experience to have your flaws thrown back in your face. Thinking about it makes me angry, frustrated at myself, but now that I know, I can act to correct. And sometimes that is the only way to catalyze change, through discomfort.

Volunteering aside, the interviews were also informative, though less insightful. I now have a better understanding of how a public health clinic works. This has helped me to understand why promoting literacy is a concern of the Sea Mar clinic. The clinicís mission is to help those who need it through both medical care and education. Education is the key to knowledge and understanding, which is correlated with good health. People who are educated are more likely to higher incomes, better living conditions, and a greater ability to live a healthy life. So by encouraging reading, Sea Mar promotes a key element in education, thus promoting better health in the long run through education. It is actually a very farsighted program.

Overall, I would say that this project has been an enlightening experience. I have a better understanding of my own limitations and a greater awareness of others. This project has also given me cause to pause and analyze whatís going on around me, to shift my perspective.