Adult illiteracy is still a problem

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

Earlier this week I sat in on a presentation about the daily problems faced by adults who can’t read. As a child who was provided a plethora of books growing up, I find it hard to relate.

From a young age my parents introduced me to books.

In fact my time watching television and even playing video games was limited during those years. But there was never a limit on how much time I could spend reading books.

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During my younger school years, unlike most of my classmates, I actually looked forward to being assigned a book to read. Where the Red Fern Grows, Bridge to Terabithia, The Indian in the Cupboard and The Secret of NIMH were all books I was assigned to read in grade school, but enjoyed reading on my own time long after the assignment was complete. Those books would later progress to stories published by Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Andre Norton.

Needless to say, my love for reading brought me to my current career. I will admit that as an adult, I devote much less time to recreational reading than I probably should, and know that the movies based on books are always lacking of content from the works they were derived.

So, with a childhood full of books, I can’t imagine not being able to read basic things such as street signs, contracts or even a menu at a restaurant.

But there are people who grew up in a much different time, or background, that must deal with the challenges of being unable to read.

Short of spoken communication, the written word is one of a few methods we have to share thoughts, ideas and knowledge so being able to read is crucial to establishing a stable life. Currently there are a limited number of programs that I know of to help adults learn to read, and that needs to change.