September 8, 2010

International Literacy Day // Bloggers Unite

International Literacy Day // Bloggers Unite

Imagine a world where you couldn't read?  To state the obvious, if you can read this blog, reading is probably something you take for granted. We readers don't realize the way the world operates for non readers.

About five years ago, I volunteered in my child's first grade classroom, one hour a week, reading with the children. At that age, there are several levels of readers, some children simply understand how letters work together and others it's nothing more than black squiggles on the page.

I met a little boy that year who was determined to overcome the squiggles and make them into words. His fists would ball up and his eyes would squint and he'd laboriously sound out each word. It was painful for the rest of the students to try to follow along. Inevitably, someone would blurt out the word he was trying to read and his brow would furrow in frustration. One day he muttered dejectedly, eyes welled with tears of embarrassment, "I know I can do this." And by the end of the year, indeed he could. I was so proud to watch him learn to read.

I wonder what happens to people who get stalled in life and either are never given the chance to make sense of the squiggles or learn how to "do this." Literacy projects around the world help those folks who've never learned to read or aren't normally given the chance to read. Reading is the gift of information, a gateway to society.

I know we can do this, too. Would you please help?


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