Thursday, January 27, 2011

Taking a Step to Fight for the Future

2008.11.12 - The letterphoto © 2008 Adrian Clark | more info (via: Wylio)

Last night when I couldn't sleep, I wrote a letter to the president in my head. I'm not exactly sure why I felt this was the best use of my restless not-sleeping minutes, but I felt really fired up about it. It was, in my head, a gorgeous piece of really informed writing and a passionate plea for the preservation of literacy. I have strong feelings about literacy, because of my past work with adults who struggle to read and the way it's so easily discarded by our governments terrifies me. I'm not kidding. Of course my whole world view--everything that I am is so sharply defined by my ability to read and my easy access to reading material. Not just books, but blogs, and news, and magazines. I have always been a curious and voracious reader and in my adult years I have been very open to letting what I read impact and change me.

Reading for leisure is not a value that needs to be shared by everyone, but in our first world society, I do feel being able to read with ease and efficiency is a fundamental right. Not being able to read or even struggling to read puts an individual at a severe disadvantage. Furthermore, it puts their children at the same disadvantage because valuing reading in the home is an important step in one's reading development. Being able to read with ease greatly raises an individual's chances at succeeding in school and finding a career or job that will satisfy them.

I would love for our country to come up with more practical ways we can all pitch in and ensure that our children are provided with books, that they are read to, and that they are shown that reading is a key to unlocking more possible futures than anything else. To me it is vital we rescue our libraries because information is a right for all. We must fight to put books in the hands of children and let them discover for themselves how wonderful it is. The only future way out of our current dark times is to prioritize education.

As silly and impossible as it seems, I think I will try to write my letter to the president and then to every other politician I can think of. So often I feel paralyzed in my inability to offer concrete help to this problem that looms larger every day. I often feel jaded and cynical about our government and political process but maybe I should exercise my own right and participate in my own way more. Maybe I need to make my own words just a little bit more solid and more permanently a record of my generation's and my online blogging community's effort to save a culture of literacy and a future of our children...ALL children not just those with parents who care about reading.

Will you join me?


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