It’s not what many might consider the highest of priorities. However, the simple fact is that illiteracy is still a problem in our society. In the UK alone, 43% of eleven-year-olds are showing problems reaching their expected levels of literacy. The fact is that we can’t just leave it to schools alone. Everyone, especially if you’re a parent, has a stake in this fight.
Help our libraries
Our libraries are suffering. Both in schools and in our public institutions. Many people are seeing a rise of volunteer-led libraries. But the fact is that these important cornerstones of civilization shouldn’t have to rely on volunteers. Support those in your schools and your town. Send them books. Send them money. See if they need resources like school library furniture. If you’ve never gotten involved in your local infrastructure, make literacy the cause you get behind. Without support, we will continue to see the amount of libraries in the country dwindle.
You can get right in there on the ground level, as well. There are a lot of independent literacy groups that offer things like after-school tuition. By volunteering with groups like Beanstalk, you can help children directly. These organizations are making a real difference, too. Over 90% of children involved in such programmes suffer positive effects. They have a better attitude to reading, an increase in confidence and better learning. These organizations offer complete training and coordination to help you, as well. You’re not on your own if you decide to join this fight.
Start a club
If you live in a place with lots of kids, then there’s a lot that your family can do, itself. In particular, a lot of people decide to start their own reading clubs for kids. A lot of parents will be happy to let their kids spend an hour or so a week doing something so valuable. Approach them and ask them about getting involved. There are a lot of tips on running a children’s book club online, as well. Mostly, it’s about getting them started, making it fun and encouraging them to talk and explore the ideas the books give them.
Make reading special for your family
Obviously, your own family is where you can have the most impact. Reading with your children shouldn’t be treated like a chore for you or your children. A lot of parents start with reading at bedtime but you can go beyond that. Let them pick books that interest them and don’t worry about whether they’re a bit more difficult for them than you would like. New words and concepts are just opportunities for you to explore with them. Kids have a pretty voracious appetite when it comes to their imagination. If you underestimate them, they’ll surprise you.
Literacy is one of the most valuable tools society has developed. It opens the gates to imagination, creativity, learning, and logic. How the future or our society looks is based on how many people are reading. In your home, your school and everywhere else, consider joining the fight for literacy.