His face was as close to mine as a pitcher talking to his catcher on the mound through his glove. He’d shown up out of nowhere yesterday. He was African American maybe 50, and he only stopped long enough to point to my sign and say in a dramatic whisper. ‘They won’t do what your sign says. They don’t want them to read. If they read, they’d revolt.’
Friday, June 22, 2018
People still read. Some people maybe read more. People who used to just stare ahead, phased-out, now look at their phone. For a guy who used to sit in bars too often stuck too often with watching whatever game was on the big screen in front of me, the phone would certainly have offered a stimulating alternative like reading a digital newspaper. The people who weren’t taught to read well in school are likely not reading much at all on their phone. They watch TV shows on it, play candy-colored games, stare at music videos. They’re stuck with that. Life has few options that way. Ten years, by law, in school should have seen to it that they could read well enough to have more.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
‘Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy - which many believe goes hand in hand with it - will be dead as well.’ - Margaret Atwood
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
‘Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.'
-Kofi Annan, from Ghana, former Secretary-General of the UN.