LITERACY is the state of “being literate.” Literacy is defined by a combination of basic skills (not just one skill) that everyone needs in order to function in society. If you are from another country and want to be comfortable in your new cultural location and want to take advantage of all the opportunities here and make it your home, then you will be required to become “literate.” If you live in this country and feel that you have been deprived educationally, then you too may want to brush up on your literacy skills.
WHY? Because basic literacy skills will allow you to express your thoughts, to solve problems, to process new information, and to understand the world around you much better. Literacy also will make it easy for other people to understand you. Literacy gives you knowledge and the ability to share and express this knowledge with other people. Literacy also gives you the ability to receive knowledge being brought to you by other people. In these ways, literacy represents freedom – freedom for you to go where you want to go in the world, and to seek opportunities in order to take your next steps. Literacy also allows opportunities to find you! Literacy is liberating because it opens the door to your future. If you do not have the basic literacy skills then you may never experience the quality of life that you seek or deserve.
Here are some of the ways that YOU can become fully LITERATE:
LITERACY means the ability to read and understand information. If you read and understand information, you will have the ability to use it — or convey it to another person effectively.
LITERACY means the ability to write and to express your thoughts in an organized way. The written word is a fundamental and powerful form of communication. You want your written words to be instantly understood by another person. By your family. By your friends. By your neighbor. By your children’s teachers. By your utility company. By your bank. By your Congressman.
LITERACY also means expressing yourself through spoken words (verbally) when in conversation with another person. Verbal expression is very important. You may need to communicate this way in a public situation (at the bank or talking to your child’s school teachers or asking someone directions on a street), or in a social setting (at a restaurant) or in the workplace (when applying for a job or talking to your boss or co-workers).
LITERACY also requires the ability to do basic mathematics – such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division – and to be able to use it in a practical situation or to solve a problem, such as paying your bills. The same is true with the sciences.
LITERACY also includes the ability to use a computer. We are living in the Computer Age and in a complex world. So, it’s important that you are “computer literate.” You don’t need to know everything about a computer and how it works but you should know very basic things about the computer and how to operate it. As examples, you need to know how to communicate by email — how to retrieve and answer incoming emails — and how to search for information on the internet.
LITERACY also means the ability to understand all the signs and symbols that you face every day in your culture. MONEY – do you understand our currency and how to handle it? THE BUS – do you know the bus routes in your town and how to buy a ticket? VOTING – do you know where to register to vote in an election or how to find out who is running for a Congressional seat in your district?
As you may begin to realize, literacy for you is “life important” both today and for your future. If you don’t have the basic literacy skills, you may end up without a job or in a job that pays little or offers poor working conditions. Without literacy skills, you may not get access to training opportunities and may even be barred from them so that you may never advance in your job and improve your life. You may not get your U.S. Citizenship and be able to vote in an election! The list is endless.
So, motivate yourself and ‘own’ literacy – for you! It’s easy to do! Begin by focusing your attention and energy towards literacy growth. Take literacy classes and workshops. Practice your lessons. Practice in real life. Everyday. 24/7. And start climbing a ladder and a rainbow to success and fulfillment for your lifetime.
Always remember: Literacy Is Living! Literacy Is the Freedom to Live!