Writer’s Name: S. F. Hardy
Title: The need-to-read never dies
Vital to each chapter of life is reading! Reading enhances the quality of life, while illiteracy reduces it. The benefits derived through reading during the developmental years are critical to each individual’s future.
Reading serves to connect individuals to the outer world. Through reading individuals become empowered, enlightened, entertained, and soothed. Reading however, is not innate. So then where and when does the learning process begin?
For optimal results, the foundation of reading is laid prior to birth. Early childhood development experts encourage expectant mothers to read to their unborn children as it not only promotes bonding between mother and child, but also gives baby a head start on language and cognitive development.
It is critical, particularly in AA communities that we continue to emphasize the importance of immersion of reading during the early stages of life. We cannot rely on and/or wait for educational systems to introduce our children to reading. There are rudimentary concepts such as knowledge of the alphabet, phonetic awareness, and sound recognition children should possess prior to walking into the school building for the first time. Failing to equip children with the necessary tools has and continues to demonstrate terminal consequences aiding in the destruction of the community. Many people will be shocked to learn that correlations are made between children’s reading skills and future crime. Sadly but true, national reading assessment scores of children as young as eight years old are used as a precursor to predict the need to develop prisons.
According to The National Institute for Reading, “Learning to read starts at home, long before children go to school. Very early, children begin to learn about the sounds of spoken language when they hear their family members talking, laughing, and singing, and when they respond to all of the sounds that fill their world. They begin to understand written language when they hear adults read stories to them and see adults reading newspapers, magazines, and books for themselves.”
Reading together as a family is a free and fun way to spend quality time. To enhance the learning experience, allow children to become familiar with books by touching and holding books during story time. Give yourself a break and let your young learner read to you; the sounds will be like music to your ears! No books at home, No problem! Visit your public library and check out books for free. Most public libraries offer regularly scheduled story times, activities, and reading readiness programs for children and their families. A children’s librarian will be delighted to assist parents in selecting reading materials suitable for themselves and young readers.
Reading is not all work and no play. Adults as well as children use reading as an escape from day-to-day life. The stressors of life are left behind with every open book and every page turned as readers travel to and through many lands with extracurricular reading.
Children grow into adults, and adults become seniors; literacy plays a crucial role in individuals reaching and maintaining each phase of life. Seniors who lack the ability to read face life threatening implications. A recent study performed on 8,000 Englanders, 52 and older reveal severe consequences as a result of illiteracy. The cause of death: the inability to read and comprehend. More specifically, “the study assessed a person’s understanding of written instruction for taking aspirin. About one-third of the participants could not completely understand the instructions; compared to people with the highest scores, those with the lowest health literacy scores were most likely to die.”
From conception, reading becomes an essential aspect to life. As individuals, we are enveloped in a world of reading, there is no escaping it. Without the ability to read, ordering from a menu would be difficult. Applying for employment would be near to impossible. Traffic laws would be broken, following recipes and basic instructions would be frustrating if not futile. Life would have no getaways and families would have less opportunity to bond if it were not for reading. The need-to-read never dies. It only improves with time and engagement from readers in each chapter of life.
1. Medline Plus
2. National Institute for Literacy
3. Literacy Assistance & Resources for Individuals living in Detroit
Detroit Literacy Coalition http://www.detroitliteracy.org/
Detroit Public Library: Adult Tutoring http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/specialservice/detroit-reads
University of Detroit Mercy: http://udmercy.readingprograms.org/level/R/reading-readiness.html