When we think about literacy, we generally think about adults helping children improve their reading skills.
Many are familiar with programs like Mother Goose, where parents and grandparents sing songs and learn rhymes with their babies and tots, and literacy nights, where families gather to play games, make crafts and share stories to promote reading, writing and math skills.
But as a Monday story outlined, many adults have literacy issues, too, that can have far-reaching implications.
Darrell MacPhail shared his history of struggling with reading. He’d find ways as a youth to fight with a friend he’d hang out with after school to avoid the household reading hour.
Then as an adult, not being able to read would rear its head on the job and he’d be pounding the pavement. He fell into a life of drugs and crime, and then jail.
But a literacy program in KRCC has given him a fresh outlook on reading, along with new skills. Supported by a volunteer, inmates at are recorded on CD reading children’s books aloud and this is sent to their children.
Now, getting his life back on track, MacPhail says he tries to read every day as he knows “it’s something you need.”
MacPhail is not alone. Almost 40 per cent of Canadian adults can’t work well with words and numbers, according Literacy B.C.
This Wednesday, Raise-A-Reader volunteers are hitting the streets in cities across the country, including Kamloops, Logan Lake, Chase, Barriere and Clearwater.
They’ll be out and about in bright orange shirts, offering copies of The Daily News for a donation that will go to local literacy groups. Last year, over $62,000 was raised toward this worthwhile cause.
Learning to read really is a recipe for success — people with higher literacy skills tend to participate more in their communities, have healthier habits and better economic success.
So if you see them out and about, please shake out your wallet and lend your support. It could mean the world of difference to someone like Darrell, who now can help teach his own children the importance of reading.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.