The importance of literacy, the ability to read and write, cannot be overstated. Literacy impacts every area of our lives and should therefore be emphasized in every possible academic area. Placing a strong focus on literacy and using various strategies for learning, children can develop the literacy skills necessary to succeed in all aspects of life. There are three different components of literacy, prose, document, and quantitative. Prose literacy refers to the ability to read documents that have continuing text such as newspaper articles. Document literacy refers to the ability to read documents with non-continuing text such as maps or job applications. Quantitative literacy refers to the ability to perform and understand computations such as balancing a checkbook. Each type of literacy is equally important but unique in its own way.
Teaching children to be literate should begin long before a child is ready to start school. There are many ways in which children can begin to learn literacy and education should begin when children are still babies. This can be as simple as reading stories to your child and showing them pictures. Reading and showing pictures to your young child will give them the base skills needed for learning how to read and write when the time comes.
Literacy has a place in every aspect of our lives and without being literate, it is nearly impossible to live a productive life. A good grasp on literacy allows children to do well in school and this in turn will help them succeed once they are out on their own in the real world.
Unfortunately there are many people in the world who have not ever learned to read or write, whether it be because they left school to work and support their families or they live in an area where education is not readily available or any other number of reasons. People that cannot read and write are referred to as illiterate. Below are some interesting literacy statistics:
- According to studies by UNICEF, nearly a billion people are unable to sign their names or read.
- Crime and illiteracy are closely related, more than 70% of the people cannot read at more than the fourth grade level in America’s prisons.
- One in four children will grow up not ever learning how to read.
- About 20% of adults read at or below a fifth grade level.
- Young children who don’t develop literacy skills are more likely to drop out of school later in life.
At the Mason Learning Center, we are committed to teaching and helping kids in their quest towards literacy. The center regularly offers reading and writing workshops for a range of age groups. We also offer visitors a state of the art computer lab and a library featuring over two thousand books. We can also refer you to tutors in a variety of subjects. Please contact the Mason Learning Center with any questions regarding our literacy programs. Remember that literacy is learned, not inherited and learning cannot proceed without understanding.