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The Importance of Literacy


A little while ago, I saw that Grammarly was asking interested bloggers to help them promote literacy, something I felt I needed to discuss, given my love of the written word. This is my attempt to promote literacy.

I started reading when I was a very young age; my Grandfather was a high school English teacher, and he and my Grandma passed on a love a reading to my mother and thus onto me. I found books that I loved and just devoured them. As I got older, my ability to put a decent sentence together was influenced by what I read. I could recognize words that were a bit above my age range. I read several classics when I was younger (I still do, but I’ve branched into other genres as well), and is something that I feel helped with my writing in later years. I learned about other cultures, other ages, and imagined myself in them. I am one of the lucky people who came from a good family who were able to put me through school, and help fund my love of reading. Having the ability read expands the imagination; it stirs your creative side.

I will say that I have noticed the decline in literacy over the years – especially when I was in college – sometimes by the simple fact that people are having a harder and harder time recognizing good grammar, and putting together a well structured sentence. I don’t claim to excel at these, but it is something I am always willing to improve upon.

I thought I would include a couple of quotes I found on Tumblr I thought were appropriate for this post:

2014-08-24 13.39.32

I thought it showed the link between reading and writing, how the two influence each other.

Though reading is something to enjoy, it has a bigger impact on a person’s life than you might think. Reading and writing skills are something that effect people of all ages – from kids in the schoolroom, to people in the workplace. Some might wonder what all the fuss is about. Take a look below and judge for yourself:

  • Low literacy affects more people that you think. About 22 percent of American adults have minimal literacy skills, which prevents them from effectively communicating. (National Center for Educational Statistics)
  • Low literacy is correlated with chronic unemployment. 50 percent of the chronically unemployed are not functionally literate, which prevents them from maintaining jobs. (Ohio Literary Resource Center)
  • Low literacy is correlated with imprisonment. 65 percent of prison inmates (or one million Americans) have low literacy. (Literacy Partners)
  • Low literacy is correlated with poverty.  43 percent of Americans with low literacy are impoverished, lacking basic reading and writing skills to help them overcome their situations. (Literacy Partners)
  • Low literacy affects the American economy. Experts estimate that low literacy costs the American economy $225 billion a year in lost productivity. Improved workplace literacy can increase employees’ efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity on the job. (Reach Higher, America)

With just basic reading and writing skills, a person will be able to get out of poverty by the ability to hold down a job, and improving the economy by being able to contribute more.

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