Literacy should be celebrated every day of the year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 11, 2012

Next week has been designated Celebrate Literacy week in Louisiana by the Louisiana Reading Association and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

In addition to various activities throughout the week, schools across the state will devote 10 minutes Monday morning, from 10 a.m. until 10:10 a.m., to group reading. While this is being implemented by the schools themselves, literacy certainly deserves more than 10 minutes per year, and that is why parents should encourage their children to devote at least 10 minutes per day to reading something that interests them to try and instill a love of reading in their children. While handwriting seems to be falling by the wayside in many schools — replaced by typing on a keypad — literacy is something that should never go out of style, even if Siri can read everything for us on our iPhones. Reading is one of the primary ways a person’s mind grows, not only through the introduction of new topics and ideas but also through the introduction of new words and phrases. The benefits of regular reading are sometimes subtle but no less essential than anything learned in a math class. Reading is also the one skill that is essential to just about every subject one will study and any job path one could follow.

According to the Louisiana Reading Association, approximately 860 million adults in the world are unable to read or write. Additionally, literacy is something many minority groups in this country, including African Americans and women, have fought for.

As such, the ability to read and write should be treated as a privilege and not a burden.