Okay, if any of you caught the 5:30 news tonight -- you know the one time slot where all the pharmaceutical companies advertise? Don't understand? See my previous post on Why? Why? Why? -- then you heard about the frightening epidemic of adult illiteracy.
According to ABC sources, 7 million Americans are considered functionally illiterate and 30 million Americans CANNOT read a simple sentence.
Here in America, we're supposed to be 'not-one-of-the-third-world countries, and yet 30 million of our fellow country men and women can't read well enough to fill out a job application, a medical consent form, can't research any subject on the Internet or at their public library, can't vote . . . some can't even read health warnings on any labels.
I so glad that Romance Writers of America supports adult literacy and that each year at the national convention a massive book-signing (often with over 400 authors in attendence) is held with all the proceeds benefiting literacy.
Is there something more that can be done?
Go to ABC News for a list of national options regarding illiteracy. Also, if you're a parent, click on Reading Is Fundamental for great tips in motivating children to read.
There are lots of reason why people can't or don't read. Sometimes, they require the assistance of a specialist to overcome learning challenges. Sometimes, it takes motivated volunteers. If you want to assist on a local level, try your nearest library for any programs they might have in place.
What else can you do?
Join my reading challenge. One book per week for 2008. Busy isn't an excuse -- it's a cop-out.
Until next time