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International Literacy Day, and Why it Matters

The United Nations declared an annual celebration of literacy through International Literacy Day, which was recently observed on September 8, 2017. Illiteracy is a global crisis that can lead to many future hardships, such as limited job opportunities and isolation. According to Project Literacy, roughly 787 million people are considered illiterate, with Americans making up 32 million of them. Illiteracy holds many people in poverty with social and economic strife, even though it is an avoidable set back.

Gahanna teachers dedicate their entire lives to spreading literacy. They strive to reach every student and provide them with access for success. Beth Davis, Reading Specialist at Gahanna Lincoln Elementary School, provides small group and individual instruction to boost readers for their future. “It is important to catch kids early on and inspire them as readers because once they hit third grade, it is very hard to close the gap,” Davis said. Struggling readers can become frustrated or stuck while the rest of the readers forge on and improve by simply reading. A study by Sarah Sparks proves

this frustration, since a student who cannot read on grade level by third grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who reads proficiently by that time.

The beginning of the end of illiteracy is with you. Literacy starts at home. Pick up a book and read it with a family member, or write a letter to an old friend. Literacy has its perks, including boosting self confidence and understanding with crucial brain connections. Creative minds and imaginations can run wild through literacy. Be sure to thank a teacher for the gift of literacy and pass it on to someone else.


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