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September is National Literacy Month

Posted: September 13, 2012 3:39 p.m.
Updated: September 14, 2012 5:00 a.m.

"Literacy is at the root of a person’s ability to succeed and the family is at the heart."

- National Center for Family Literacy

 

Completing a job application. Following instructions for taking a prescription. Paying bills. Getting a drivers license. Having choices. Helping a child with homework. Curling up with a good book. All of these activities have one thing in common -- the ability to read.

Kershaw County Literacy Association teaches people to read. By matching adult learners with trained volunteer tutors, the association offers confidential, one-on-one curricula to learn, or hone, reading, writing and math skills in a safe setting on a schedule that works for each -- at no cost to the participant. People who have been through the program report that it gives them feelings of pride, independence and joy.

There is much work to do for nearly one in four adults in Kershaw County can’t read or write.

This has many implications for all of us and our quality of life. Higher unemployment. Lower wages. Higher crime rates. Larger prison populations. Recently I heard an educator say that third grade reading test scores are a factor in determining how many jail cells will need to be built in the next ten years. Jail cells! Hardly the kind of economic development we would wish for our community. Yet adults, who can read, raise children who can read, which can eventually break the cycle of illiteracy and provide better options for all.

If you or someone you know needs help from the literacy association, or if you would like to volunteer, call us at 803-669-0019 and ask for Hope. It’s never too late to learn to read.

Submitted by Paula Scarborough vice chairperson of the Kershaw County Literacy Association.

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