Literacy, or the capability to comprehend, translate, utilize, make, process, assess, and speak information connected with fluctuating settings and displayed in differing organizations, assumes an essential part in molding a young's persons trajectory in life. The ability to read speaks to a key factor of scholarly, social, and financial success (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). These abilities likewise speak to a fundamental segment to having a satisfying life and turning into an effective worker and overall person (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1999). Interestingly, recent studies have demonstrated that low reading skills lead to critical hindrances in monetary and social achievement. As stated by the National Center for Education Statistics, adults with lower levels of reading skills and literacy have a lower average salary. Another study evaluated that 17 to 18 percent of adults with "below average" literacy aptitudes earned less than $300 a week, though just 3 to 6 percent of adults with "proficient" reading abilities earned less than $300 a week (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).
According to Richard Vaca, author of Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum, “Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives.” But despite the importance of high levels of literacy in adult life, American literacy scores in schools remain low. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for fourth graders in 2009, the national average score was a 220 out of possible 500, no improvement over the average 2007 score. This across-the-board failure to teach students such a vital skill as literacy in the twenty-first century demonstrates a failure of the literacy curriculum itself, and the...
Literacy is a catastrophic problem around the world. With the information age coming in at blazing speeds, literacy is needed among every one in the nation. To solve literacy’s problems must effectively the United States must go the roots of where illiteracy begins. When this starts to happen nation wide, all able will be able to have the ability to read. How else would a nation survive in a literate world with out being literate itself?
Last school year, I took a college class that required hours of field experience in a high school English class. I was able to observe different English classes and different high school grade levels. What made a big impact on me was to hear some of those high school students struggling with reading more than the third grade students I was teaching that same school year. These students were expected to read and comprehend grade level text when they were reading at an elementary level. Illiteracy “is considered the blackest mark of a person’s finally in school and the greatest failure in the American school system” (Tchudi, and Tchudi 75) and there are around twenty-five million functional illiterates in the United States (75). Why are our middle school and high school students still struggling with reading? What can English/Language arts teachers do to help these struggling readers?
Kutner, M., Greenberg,E.,and Baer, J. (2005). A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in
Opportunities abound to stamp out illiteracy at the federal, state, and local level. Are these enough? For those in need, maybe not. Most everyone’s needs are unique. National Family Literacy Program helps those families nationwide with literacy problems. In our own state of Florida, Governor Jeb Bush has set up the Governor’s Mentoring Initiative Program which has helped over 9,000 adults and children improve their reading programs.
These theories, methods, assessments along with the evidence of success in reading at home make it clear that it is extremely important we try our hardest to support literacy in every child. All students can learn. It’s just a matter of making materials interesting and relevant to them, challenging them (but not to hard), and supporting them along the way.
At least 40 million American adults need stronger literacy skills to take advantage of more lifelong learning opportunities (Knowles 12). Low literacy limits life chances, regardless of how it is defined or measured. According to The Random House Dictionary literacy is defined as “the quality or state of being literate, esp. the ability to read and write.” Another breakdown of the word, from the same source is “possession of education.” Basic skills and literacy abilities are widely viewed as necessities for lifelong learning and the development of success among individuals, families, communities, and even nations. Better knowledge about literacy is an essential condition for improving it. Helping children improve their literacy skills can help them develop the capacity for lifelong learning, keep pace with changing educational expectations and rapid technological change, and achieve their life goals. Today in society there are many adults with poor literacy skills who lack the foundation they need to find and keep decent jobs, to support their children’s education and help them mold a literate future. I have taken one small step towards this problem by tutoring at two schools. The more time people put towards helping the youth of America is the more literate our population can become. Every small action can help, even if it is just tutoring at local middle and junior high schools.
The human mind is perhaps the greatest object on the earth, animate or inanimate, but without the proper training, the mind is a relatively useless tool. Through the development of formal education systems, humans as a whole have tried to ensure the training of all minds so as to continue prosperity for the world. Most of the time, though, education systems do not realize the harm they are doing to developing minds and the subsequent negative consequences. Among the largest of these inadequate education systems is the American primary schooling system. The American education system is in fact failing; it continues to deplete children of their natural creativity and thirst for knowledge while preaching conformity, which in turn creates an ill-prepared and incompetent public.
Reading and writing are two of the most important functions performed on a daily basis by individuals. One problem in America is that a significant amount of the population cannot perform one or both of these tasks. These two tasks are commonly referred to as literacy. What encompasses a literate individual is a controversial topic. For example, if someone can read a sentence and decipher what it means does this mean the person is literate. Or should the individual be able to interpret a sentence as well as write and respond to a given situation to be considered literate. Due to this vagueness in what encompasses a literate individual, I will not state statistical information about the state of literacy in the United States. The statistical information is not important, rather the way the literacy rate can be risen in the U.S. is what is important. A general situation that has to occur to raise literacy rate is the situation where an individual has the desire to read and write and does not do so solely because of instruction from authority figures.
On an international scale, America’s overall adult literacy ranking is in a downward spiral. The United States is currently ranked at number forty-nine out of 158 different nations in the United Nations (Kozal 1). This ranking will keep going down if no action is taken. Luckily, on a smaller scale, there are programs in our towns and cities that benefit adults that are functionally illiterate. All federal and local literacy programs reached only a maximum of 4% of the illiterate population (Kozal 1). That 4% will not put a dent in this growing nationwide epidemic.
For my community involvement project, I volunteered at Memminger Elementary School for a program called “Reading Partners.” The program focuses on helping children build strong literacy skills to carry with them into their academic careers. It requires the tutor to read to the student that has been assigned and in turn the student reads to the tutor. The program assists in teaching the students valuable reading skills. Being able to read is critical to a child’s educational success. The program works with more than 100 schools within seven states. The program is geared toward students of low-income families. The statistics for children’s literacy in the United States are astonishing. “In 2011, just thirty-four percent of the nation’s fourth graders in public school could read proficiently” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). The program itself has had exponential success. Principals and teacher have reported that “Reading Partners” has helped increase students’ reading levels. During my time at the program I accumulated twelve volunteer hours.
Tompkins, G. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach. (5th ed., pp. 12-286). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
Now that I have defined illiteracy, I want to raise the awareness of this problem, how it relates to women and propose a policy to help solve the problem. Illiteracy exists in America and in all nations all over the world, and the percentages of illiterate women are much higher than illiterate men. Many people assume that illiterate Americans are concentrated in large cities with troubled schools. Although this may be true in some cases, there are rural areas where illiterate women are overlooked.