What is the one thing that should be near and dear to any blogger or readers heart?? Literacy. I know it is to mine. Reading for me was my escape. It was the one place I could turn to when my whole world was collapsing around me. When I was being moved from school to school, town to town, state to state. It was my one constant (well other than my siblings). I honestly don’t know what I would do without being able to read. I suffer from a rare autoimmune disease and on a medication that could potentially take my eyesight. To me that is one of the scariest things and I tease often that I need to learn braille just in case. That is how much being able to read means to me.
Did you know that as of May 2017, 32 million adults (in the US alone) can not read. That is 14% of the population!!! 14%!!! Did you know 19% of high school graduates can not read??? That 21% of US adults read below a 5th grade level?? The statistics on literacy in the United States is appalling. It breaks my freaking heart.
How many of these people are struggling in everyday life due to the fact that they can’t read?? Reading isn’t just for pleasure (like it is for me). You need to read for everything! Job applications, road signs, rental leases, etc. Without this basic skill you can not function in the real world. This is not fault of the person who struggles to read though. This is the fault of honestly neglect, whether it be at the school level, parental level, or even human level.
Being a huge reader I stress the importance of being able to read to my children. I can only hope they love it as much as I do. But how about the child, teenager or adult who struggles now and always has. The ones who have dyslexia (my daughter does) and struggles with learning how to overcome the disability. How do we help them see that it’s not their fault, it is society’s fault for letting them fall to the wayside?
Today an author friend of mine announced on his Facebook that he has started a nonprofit called Live Literately. The passion David Michael has for this new adventure sparked up my own passion. I use to be a student teacher for reading. Add to that I want people to read, whether it be for fun or necessity. So I am pledging to donate at least one hour a month to Live Literately. David didn’t go little with this. He is going nationally!!! Yes you read that right.
This is from David’s Facebook Page (so you can read his exact wording):
As the CEO/Founder/Executive Director of Live Literately, I find myself in a unique position to tell you guys a little about the vision I have for the organization.
We’re a community, we indies, for better or worse.
We’re outspoken, passionate, loyal(ish), and we don’t back down from a fight when it’s a matter of doing what’s right.
So, I had the thought, “What if someone put together an organization that harnessed these qualities and applied them to making a REAL change in the world?”
Then I had the thought, “Wait, I could do that.”
So I put together my Board of Directors. I filed a mountain of paperwork with the state to incorporate. I built a social media page. I created email addresses. We’re working on getting a website set up. We’re debating payment processors. We’re weighing our options when it comes to a bank account.
And in the last 24 hours, 500 of you have followed the page. 30 of you have signed up to volunteer an hour a month with us (for those of you who are bad at math like me, that’s already a commitment of AT LEAST 456 hours a year teaching people to read!)
I want a network of people who share our passion for reading, writing, blogging, photography, and design to share that passion with the world. I want to share our dream with people who can’t even fill out a job application, let alone read or write a book.
I want this awesome community to show the world what we’re REALLY capable of.
Because we’re already in the business of making dreams a reality.
Why not take it a step further?
This is life changing, not only for the person learning to read and write but also for the person tutoring. So make that difference in a life. Pledge an hour a month. Instead of wondering why our children can’t read help them learn. Help someone find a love for literacy. I am coming to you as a blogger, a reader, a mom, a human being and asking you to take a moment and do something for someone else. Volunteering doesn’t cost anything but sixty minutes out of your month. Will you join me??
Find and follow Live Literately on FaceBook to keep up with all the amazing stuff that is happening!!