Take a moment and think about how often you read in a day.
How many words do you come across in an average day?
When you travel, how many signs do you scan without even realizing it?
At a grocery or department store, how many labels do you read? How many prices?
How many times do you read a text or an email on your phone, tablet or computer?
Is it thousands?
Now imagine this, you don’t read well or at all, you have never learned like others. How would you cope?
Would you use excuses of forgetting your glasses or a pen?
When you traveled how would you follow your route?
At the grocery how would you make nutritional choices for your family?
How would you respond to a message or would you?
Would you fill out your own paperwork?
How would you assist your child with homework?
How would you pay your bills?
We probably do take reading for granted and if we didn’t read, we would struggle, cope, or hide.
One in Five adults in our community struggle, cope and hide, these adults are not strangers. They are your neighbors, your friends, and your family. For me, they are Ashley, Darrell, and my Dad.
A Learning Difference does not discriminate.
A Learning Disability is not a disease.
But yet millions of Americans and 18,000 in our community don’t feel comfortable enough to seek help. They don’t have the confidence to reach out and communicate with you that reading is too difficult for them.
The Literacy Center wants to help you reach out to your friend, your neighbor or your family member.
Read for Life is that reach, it is the hope that we can stop the struggles and the hiding.
It is also a reminder that reading in life is how we live. When we live well, we don’t struggle daily, we don’t just get by and we don’t have to be in the shadows.
Read for Life is a message to each and every individual that life can be better when you read.
The first step is getting your friend, neighbor or family member to call us. The individual who seeks help must be the one who calls. Help them feel comfortable with that call. Tell them that struggles with reading are not an indication of how you smart are. And asking for help is a good thing.
When you have gotten them to call, we will do the rest.
We will make an appointment for the assessment/interview. This appointment is about getting to know family history, what their goals are and what their reading level is. We coach them to the third step where they will receive access to immediate education in our computer lab. We will mentor them through the next 12 hours of time to earn their volunteer tutor. They put in the work; we put in the time to make them feel welcomed, accomplished or more confident. They will commit to a year of working with their tutor and reaching towards their goals. Their goals will be their own but all center on becoming self–sufficient and stopping the coping skills.
We want Read for Life to also encourage all people with limited reading skills to seek help before the next crisis of loss of a job, a child’s need for help or a health care emergency. Because when we read in life we can break the cycle of illiteracy. The struggling, coping and hiding will be in the past. The once non-readers will become more involved in our community and make better informed decisions for themselves.
The Literacy Center is located at 3411 First Avenue; you can help us by volunteering, making a donation or participating in one of our fundraisers.
You can also help by remembering that Read for Life is about helping a child with homework, traveling, eating well, being employed and paying your bills, utilizing the internet and being involved in your community by voting, volunteering and so much more.
Read for Life because Literacy Matters.