Illiteracy

@sissy15 (5392)
United States
December 18, 2015 2:03am CST
If you're here you're already a step ahead of so many. If you're here that means you can read and write. Now that doesn't sound like a great achievement, but it is to someone who doesn't know how. Did you know 1 in 4 children in the US will grow up without learning how to read? That is just in the US in a developed country. In this day and age those numbers should be so much lower. My parents made it clear that I was going to get whatever help I needed, they told me that I needed to try. Grades weren't everything, but I had to try my best. If I tried they wouldn't be disappointed in me. If I failed that meant I needed more help. I personally didn't need them to tell me how important an education was. My dad can't read. Nothing puts things into perspective like having to watch my dad suck up his own pride to ask his 8 year old daughter (me) to read something for him. Watching him get papers from my teachers and pretending like he could read them. To this day I still have to help him with doctors forms and paperwork anything that involves any form of reading. I have to watch as he pretends like he can read. The thing is none of the boys in my dad's family can read, my brother can read but he struggles with it. My dad wanted better for us. My brother used to always ask me how to spell things, but he could read for the most part. I don't even know if he's at a high school reading level to be honest. My mom wanted my brother to be her first son to graduate high school, as none of my brothers did, not because they were dumb, but because they just didn't care to go to school. All of my sisters and myself graduated high school. Of course my brother and I have a different father than the rest of our siblings. My dad has 3 kids, I'm the only one that graduated. My mom has 7 and I'm the 4th and final child to graduate. My mom didn't graduate, but she can read. My dad stopped going to school in the 8th grade. They kept passing him but never bothered to help him. My dad makes excuses to not learn to read, none of which I buy, but you can't force someone to do something they are so set against. My dad tells me he's too old as he's almost 70, and I remember reading a story about a 90 something year old man learn to read. My dad isn't too old, he's too stubborn. You have to want to learn. He says he tried, but I don't believe he did. His school didn't care about him. My dad went to school in a small town, and everyone I know then and now that went to that school tend to be lacking in the education department. It's like that school doesn't care whether the kids have a decent education. I refuse to ever send my son there. It's thanks to the school district that I went to and my son currently goes to that I learned what I did. I had so much against me starting out. They made sure I got the help I needed, and they're making sure my son gets the help he needs. Too many schools are underfunded and the teachers are underpaid. We put so much money into things that don't matter, and ignore our schools. Education is so important, it's an investment into our future. Not just our children's future, but ours. They are the future, they're the ones that are going to be leading the country, they need to know what they're doing. If my dad learned to read he would have so much more available to him. I can't even imagine what he goes through. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't read or write. My dad can write, but he can't read or spell, so people have to tell him what he's writing and spell it out for him. One thing my son has a ton of are books, just as I did as a kid. I want him to have a world to escape to when he needs it, I want him to value reading. There was seldom a time when I was a kid that my nose wasn't in a book. Just some statistics for you: if you're interested in reading more. There is no excuse for this. We can do better America!
1 person likes this
2 responses
@boiboing (12198)
• Northampton, England
18 Dec 15
That's terribly sad that your father never learned to read. And no excuse in your country when education is freely available - but clearly not as good as it needed to be to help your dad.
1 person likes this
@sissy15 (5392)
• United States
18 Dec 15
It is sad, and there is no excuse. It all comes down to greed. My dad was raised in a time where education wasn't front and center. Most of the people that can't read in the US are adults who are 65 and older. That's not a coincidence. I've always loved books, even before I could read I pretended like I was reading by looking at the pictures and making up stories. My parents would always find me when I was really little "reading" to my dolls and stuffed animals. When my dad was a kid it was all about working and serving their country. The US has some great schools, but they also have some horrible schools. Some cities don't have the money to give to schools,or they do and they use it on things they deem more important, even though to me education is the most important thing.
@Missmwngi (9576)
• Nairobi, Kenya
18 Dec 15
I am also saddened by the education system in our country. We have people who would not to learn but they don't have what they need. teachers keep striking and so kids keep suffering
@sissy15 (5392)
• United States
18 Dec 15
Well, as I see you're from Kenya your country isn't as developed as the US, and that's horrible but it's going to be twice as difficult for you to get supplies. The main reason my country has issues is because of greed. Money that should go to our children goes to everything else. I think priorities in every country should start with education. Without education nothing else really matters, because our children won't be able to lead our future without a decent education.
1 person likes this
@Missmwngi (9576)
• Nairobi, Kenya
18 Dec 15
@sissy15 What lacks is the balance to meet every need and public money sorrounded by the wrong people who just want some for their pockets
@sissy15 (5392)
• United States
19 Dec 15
@Missmwngi Yeah, here a lot of the problem is the salaries they pay public officials. They pay them big bucks, and they could easily live on less, and they put money into things we really don't need. My city for instance just put money into widening our roads, and are now deciding after they just finished that job to put in roundabouts which will cost us millions of dollars.