Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

See Spot Run

I had a twentysomething woman in my office the other week that could not read or write. She could sign her name but just barely. When I asked her to write down her children’s names because they were oddly spelled, she could not. Her children's father had to write down their names. It was very sad. Adult illiteracy is still prevalent in our county. According to the US Education Department, 14% of adults in the USA cannot read or write with basic proficiency.

I remember back to the 1st grade when I was beginning to read. I actually remember Mrs. Broomall, my 1st grade teacher from Wenonah Elementary leading our small reading group of 6 classmates. We sat in a semicircle reading from a Dick and Jane story with Spot the dog. I remember looking at the three word sentence and sounding it out. "See Spot run."  I am proud of this memory; my first true memory of reading on my own.

As we progressed with reading, I remember reading a children’s book in 1st grade on an young girl named Josefina February. She was a Caribbean island girl who lived with her grandfather. It was about her adventures as a child. I remember going home and telling my mother that I would marry this little black girl, Josefina February, when I grew up. I would travel down to her island and FIND HER! OK OK, so my idea of reality was a bit off as a 6 year old child. At that age I still had an imaginary friend named Baboon who was actually a baboon.

These days, I have three or four books along with some magazines bedside. I try and read every night at least for ½ hour. I just like having a bunch of different books available depending on my mood for the evening. If I want something light, I will grab a magazine: National Geographic, Country Living, Philadelphia Magazine or Men's Fitness. If I want something a little deeper, I hit the books. Right now, I have on my nightstand a pretty varied selection: Impressionists in Winter, The Biography of Monticello, Room with a View by EM Forster, and Fire by Sebastian Junger.

I tend to read a lot of art and architecture books. I don’t get to as many museums as I would like to these days so I try and expand my knowledge base on these subjects. The only problem is that I am usually sleepy and forget ½ of what I have read so I have to reread it! The evening drink count also sometimes affects my remembrance of what I’ve read.

If you are ever wondering about a charity to support or donate to, consider any child or adult literacy programs which are out there. Your local library has information on programs. You can also Google “adult literacy” or "literacy programs" for programs in your area. Here are a couple of programs that I found:
(Adult Basic and Literacy Education or ABLE in the Commonwealth of PA) (National Center for Family Literacy)

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