The State of Literacy: Did you know?
Millions of blogs take up space on the net and they come in all shapes and sizes. Truly, the blogosphere is a reflection of our diverse cultures and beliefs. Blogs that: are mom blogs, pet blogs, corporate, political, humorous, focused on a hobby, focused on making money, and everything else with a bag of chips. One thing they all share is the written word.
Each and every one of us not only has a familiarity, but a passion to write and read… even if the writing is just a joke, a review of a TV show, or a title on a photograph.
As long as there are humans, there will be conflict. Many of us are focused on the major situations prevalent in our news: Global Warming, War, Economic Instability, Crime, Violence, Natural Disasters, Anna Nicole Smith…
It’s easy to forget about the more basic problems that face our society, problems that affect each state, every country. Through our ability to learn, from our parents, and from those educators that showed us the way - we received a gift, reading and writing. Such a basic thing and our lives, our successes, even our futures are all based upon this skill.
- "The UN defines illiteracy as the inability to read and write a simple sentence in any language. In 2003, the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), conducted by the US Department of Education, found that fourteen percent of American adults scored at this “below basic” level in prose literacy in English. More than half of these persons did not have a high-school diploma or GED. 39 percent of persons at this level were Hispanic; 20 percent were black; and 37 percent were white." Source
- Our country ranks 49 out of 156 UN countries in literacy, 18 spots lower than where it was in 1950. Illiteracy costs the US more than $225 billion a year in productivity. 60% of all juvenile offenders have problems reading. Source
- "According to UNESCO, in the world today there are about 1 billion non-literate adults. Women represent 2/3rds of that 1 billion." Source
- "In 1998, the EFA 2000 Assessment measured progress and reported that, while some progress had been made in educating children, 113 million still remained out of school. The overall adult literacy rate had risen, but at least 875 million adults remained illiterate, 64% of them women." Source
- "To examine fourth-graders' views on reading for enjoyment, PIRLS 2001 created an index of Students' Attitudes Toward Reading (SATR). All of the participating G8 countries, with the exception of England, had greater percentages of fourth-graders with higher SATR scores than the United States." Source
- The CIA reports that the US has a 99% literacy rate. Source
- There have been minimal increases in the reading scale scores over the last 30 years. Source
- "In California, 85% of nonfiction books in school libraries were published 15 years ago." Source
- "Evidence shows that children who do not read by third grade often fail to catch up and are more likely to drop out of school, take drugs, or go to prison. So many nonreaders wind up in jail that Arizona officials have found they can use the rate of illiteracy to help calculate future prison needs." Source
- Utah claims to have the highest literacy rate in the nation. Source
- Read books, let people see you reading, and talk about them. Ask questions.
- Get involved in your library by volunteering your time to help local literacy programs.
- Encourage children to read for enjoyment and pleasure. Reading is fun. Share that. There is more to life than myspace, ipods, PSPs, and nickelodeon.
Now I have a question for you, take a moment and ponder, where would you be if you couldn’t write, let alone read, a sentence?