The Disease We Don’t Fight: Aliteracy

I love to read. Now, as I have gotten older my choice of books has not matured. But nonethfall i nlove with readingeless, I love to read. 

I love the feeling of being lost in a world that does not exist. I love the feeling of being so engrossed in a fictional character that I feel connected to them. I relish at the idea of sharing the love between Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace. I get excited when I think about Platform 9 and three quarters and heading off to Hogwarts for the year. Basically, I love being able to exchange my world for a much better one. 

But we don’ always share this love. I find that today, so many of my peers lack a love for reading. Not only my peers, but the students that I have encountered at both the elementary and high school level.

We are not shy of the statistics that are linked to illiteracy. But are the consequences of aliteracy just as invisibly dangerous?

Defined as having the ability to read but unwilling to do so, aliteracy is a disease that has long gone unchecked.

As put best by one author, “One thing you can say for illiteracy: It can be identified and combated. Aliteracy is like an invisible liquid, seeping through the culture, nigh impossible to defend against.”

Students have the ability to read and think critically but abandon this amazing skill for hours of television and video games. Countless hours on an iPad or cell phone. 

Why does this matter?

When minority students begin school, the achievement gap has likely already hit them. Statistics show that minority students know significantly less words than their white counterparts. Peeps, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to see where this is going. 

I have sat in countless college courses and heard tons of books mentioned that everyone could relate to and speak about, but I couldn’t. Our educational system does not instill a love for reading. We are taught to mull over textbooks and articles until our eyes bleed. We are left unfulfilled and bored. We are not taught to seek out genres that we love and authors that we enjoy. We are not taught to share books with our friends and talk excitedly about text. By the time we reach college age, we shun the idea of reading for enjoyment because it is such a foreign entity. 

This saddens me. Folks, our people, our nation is going to be destroyed by aliteracy. 

Parents: Read out loud to your children. Whether you enjoy it or not, do not allow the same disease that has struck you to strike your child. Take them to the library. Pretend to like it. Buy them books.

Students: Take time to read for enjoyment. Find books you love and re-read them.

Rarely do we consider the consequences of simply “not liking to read” but we must face the facts and realize that we have fought tirelessly to overcome illiteracy. Our ancestors fought for hundreds of years for our right to attend school and learn to read and yet here we are, completely throwing it away.

Read, peeps, pick up a book and read.


Miss Locklear

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