Reading against poverty.

Yesterday was Blog Action Day, in which millions of blogs took action against poverty, and mine took a holiday.  (Okay, I forgot.) 

Here's what I'd like to show you.  Excerpts:

What the hell, you got a room in your house just filled with books? That's stupid,"
was one of the many memorable quotes from my first semester teaching in
a school filled with at-risk and impoverished kids. Right now you're
reading a productivity and technology blog. You're no stranger to
literacy and you read for enjoyment. All day every day you process
thousands upon thousands of words to make meaning of and enrich your
world. As an educator both at the high school and collegiate level, I'm
confronted again and again with children and adults who are only
semi-literate nearly drowning in a world they can't process the way you
and I can. Somehow, every year I find myself with hundreds of students
that regard reading a book the same way they regard getting kicked in
the groin. If a student makes it out of their formal schooling only
semi-literate, their passage into adulthood is painfully crippled. All
the social programs in the world won't be able to stabilize that
person's life as much as the confidence that being a competent and
literate adult would. 

You would be hard pressed to find an organization that has done more to advocate and foster literacy than Reading Is Fundamental.
It isn't a new charity and it won't win awards for being trendy. It
has, however, consistently won awards for being extremely efficient
with its funding, receiving an A+ rating from the American Institute of
Philanthropy and being ranked among the best 100 charities in the
country according to Worth magazine. Consider the following spattering
of facts about the state of illiteracy in the US and the economic
impact of it:

  • Nearly 50% of the adult US population reads at a 7th grade level or
    lower. Nearly 25% has reading proficiency so low they cannot read
    instructions on medication bottles, the manual that comes with a piece
    of machinery, or a newspaper. This means roughly 40 million Americans
    cannot do something as simple and critical as read the handout a
    pharmacist gives them that warns them of lethal drug interactions. *
  • 62% of parents with high socioeconomic status read to their
    children every day. 36% of parents with low socioeconomic status read
    to their children every day. *
  • The average lifetime earnings of a person holding a Master's degree
    or higher is $1,500,000 higher than that of a non-highschool graduate. *

Reading Is Fundamental sponsors more than 20,000 programs in the United
States, which fall into several categories to meet the needs of
different segments of the population. The following are three types of
programs offered by Reading Is Fundamental that I strongly support and
feel have the biggest impact on the communities in which they are

Click over to read the rest of the article, learn about three of the programs, and see what you can do to help out.  Of course, adding this site as one of your homepages can go a long way, as well.

Posted by email from condalmowordpress’s posterous


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