Well I survived my weekend. I even managed to complete all the work I had to do. I'm still fully booked but that's they way things go for me. I complete one job and, shortly after, receive another. I'm not going to complain about that though. I'd be very concerned if I had no work left to do, and enjoy never being completely caught up on my work. But I'm not here to talk about work today. At least not paid work.
One of the volunteers at our store was doing her homework yesterday when it emerged that she can't read very well. The books she was assigned by the school were for someone about half her age. We know how old she is because when she joined us she was 13 and she had to leave for a few weeks until she turned 14 because that's the minimum age for volunteering. Anyway, Paul, my boss and probably the closest thing I have to a best friend (how sad is that?) sat down with her and got her to read not just her book, but something for someone her age as well. She struggled with the word "apparently" but she got there in the end.
I think reading is one of those things that everyone takes for granted. There was a time when almost no one could read. Now literacy problems are fewer and farther in between but they still exist. There are people who struggle to read and so don't bother, like our volunteer girl. I actually had a friend who only learned to read because she had a crush on the teacher and wanted to impress them. They've since gone on to not just read books but to also write them. All because they wanted to impress someone when they were four.
Reading is a vital skill and it opens you up to so many possibilities; so many other worlds that are waiting to be found in a book. I don't like it when I hear people tell me they don't like to read. I think they just haven't found the right things for them. There's a book for everyone so go out and explore what literacy has to offer. If you know someone who can't read very well then gently encourage them to improve.
I suppose that's one more campaign I can support if I ever become super rich; childhood literacy.