33.Short Essay and Article on Literacy is the Only Light in the Tunnel

Literacy is the Only Light in the Tunnel

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right… Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.

“Literacy opens up the whole world to an individual. Education enables a student to develop his/her potential, which in turn encourages him/her to participate in the community effectively,” says Mrs JyotiGuruwara of Sherwood Public School.

Antara says, “education helps us to become self-reliant and achieve success in life.”

So burn the midnight oil and also do your bit to spread the light of literacy and empower people around you.

Literacy is the ability to use language to read and write. While listening and speaking develop naturally, reading and writing must be learned.

Reading specialists and educators have long known that literacy – the ability to read and write – is tied to everything we do and that connections in social situations and practices are very important in developing literacy skills in children.

Today, literacy is evolving into much more than the ability to read a newspaper and the latest bestseller. For many teachers and students, it is also about being intellectual, culturally, and electronically capable. In the workplace, it may mean being proficient in several computer programs, knowing how to research and solve complex problems, or handling multiple projects. From navigating the Internet to making healthcare-related decisions, literacy is evolving

Regardless of this shifting definition, literacy is essential to developing a strong sense of well-being and citizenship. Children who have developed strong reading skills perform better in school and have a healthier self-image. They become lifelong learners and sought-after employees.

Sadly, two-thirds of America’s children living in poverty have no books at home, and the number of families living in poverty continues to rise. Many libraries are being forced to close or reduce their operating hours. Children who do not have access to books or read regularly are vulnerable to falling behind in school.

Literacy counts from day one

As a physician and an executive of a nonprofit health plan focused on fostering healthy lifestyles, I understand the importance of a healthy start in life. “The First Year”, an article in the current issue of National Geographic, shows us that parents and caregivers need to build the foundation early.

The article discusses scientific studies worldwide that are examining how nature and nurture combine to shape the brains of children. Scientists studying how infants acquire the capacity for language, numbers and emotional understanding have learned that a baby’s brain needs an emotionally supportive environment and lots of positive stimulation to develop. The idea that social experience is a pathway to verbal, intellectual, and emotional development is what neuroscientist Patricia Kuhl calls the “social gating hypothesis.”

Researchers in one study found that children who received more attention and nurturing at home tended to have higher IQs. Children who were spoken to more achieved higher IQ results at age three and performed better in school at ages nine and ten.

And while the amount of talking parents did with their children made a difference, one researcher found that language delivered by television, audiobook, Internet, or smartphone didn’t produce the same results as personal interaction, no matter how educational the content.

Tips for fostering a lifelong love of reading

Reading aloud to children at an early age is the most effective way to help them expand their vocabulary and recognize written words. Reading also stimulates a child’s imagination and expands his or her understanding of the world.

There are many ways to include reading in all stages of childhood. When children focus on literacy activities they enjoy, reading will be seen as a treat, not a chore. Follow these tips at home:

  • Limit television and computer time in favour of reading time.
  • Lead by example. A child will value reading when they see their role models reading.
  • Read to a child. This teaches them that reading is important and it can open the lines of communication on many topics.
  • Join your local library. Find library books about current interests in the child’s life and then read them together.

Literacy counts from day one and lays the foundation for a child’s success in school and in life.

Many children and adults can’t read and struggle when they try. A lack of literacy can lead to low self-esteem, unemployment, and a lifetime of limited success.

Literacy is the Language of Opportunity.

Children at are the heart of all we do.

We believe every child has the right to read. We know 95% can be taught.

And we believe teachers, not programs or products, teach children to read, write, and spell.

So, we empower teaching excellence by providing knowledge and the mentor-supported practice that every teacher needs and deserves, but few have experienced.

Our model is research-based.

“Teachers play a variety of roles in their work—instructor, coach, advocate, and learner—but they also act as scientists in several ways.  As they make important decisions about what and how to teach, they must evaluate the claims associated with educational strategies and programs.  And in the classroom, they must constantly assess and reassess the value of programs and their impact on students.”

 Download the above Article in PDF

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