Sunday, April 4, 2010

Maine Reads!

I can think of no better way to spend my time than with a great book. I love to read and when I can't read, I listen to books on tape. Reading is a part of my day, plain and simple.

Because of this, I cannot imagine what my life would be like without the comfort and excitement of my daily dose of reading and language. When I read statistics like 42% of Maine adults are functioning at a level 1 or 2, while the workplace requires a level 3 to succeed in supporting employment, I wonder how it is that we are going to fight this epidemic and help those who need it. I know that a number of my current and former students have a difficult time completing job applications. I've started to assign resume and job application writing in class to help prepare my students for these tasks. But, with so many online applications for colleges and jobs, how will the other (nearly) half of Maine's adults achieve functional literacy?

This is not a rhetorical question, because there are no easy answers to this problem. There are, however, organizations and events like Maine Reads which promote fun, literacy-based programs and activities for the young and the not-so-young to enjoy. Through these events, the people who work and volunteer for this organizations raise funds so that they can offer support for adults and children who are not functionally literate.

There are several upcoming events planned for this month, like a reading with Anita Shreve and Tess Gerritsen. Tickets (purchased in advance) for this event are only $10. Amazing! Find out more information about this and other events (several are free) at this site. If you can't join in on the fun, maybe you can donate a few dollars or some of your time to support literacy in Maine?

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