Developing a Nation of Readers!

by Gwyn Muhammad, Literacy Specialist

Wake up all you teachers. Time to teach a new way. Maybe then they’ll listen to what you have to say.  They’re the ones who’re coming up and the world is in their hands. When you teach the children, teach them the very best you can. The world won’t get no better if we just let it be. We gotta’ change the world, just you and me…” Harold Melvin and the BlueNotes

Our destinies are tied to that of our children and their ability to read, write, comprehend, and interpret all aspects of our environment.

What is this thing called reading and why should we be concerned about developing a nation of “readers”?

First, and most importantly, we should be concerned because we are failing our children, they are not failing themselves.
  • 70% of all eight graders are NOT on grade level and will never catch up.
  • 96% percent of all information adults obtain is through expository reading
  • The Commission on Reading reports children arrive at school with a language disconnect.
  • Drop-outs are the students who feel no relationship, connection or involvement in the learning process.
  • Nationwide 50% or more of our students will drop out.
  • 20%, or 1/5, of the dropouts nationwide are in Dallas/Houston.
  • A 17 year old black/Latino student is on the same academic level as the average 13 year old white student.
  • The average Black/Latino high school graduate has the academic skill level of an eighth grader. 
Literacy is a secondary system, dependent on language as the primary system. Language comprehension and word recognition produces fluent execution and coordination of word recognition and text comprehension, or skilled reading.

Literacy is the essential requirement for the teaching of any subject and gaining understanding of any subject being studied.

“The Workforce Investment Act of 1998”, defines literacy as ‘an individual’s ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society’. As information and technology in our world become more advanced, the skills we need to function will have to surpass just reading, and literacy will be inclusive of skills and competence in all areas of society.

The definition of one being “literate” depends on one possessing the skills, knowledge and competence needed within a particular environment. Literacy no longer has an exclusive focus on reading and writing. It includes a more inclusive and expansive perspective, such as: computer literacy, financial literacy, mathematical literacy, geological literacy, musical literacy, auditory literacy, visual literacy, etc.

Literacy is the essential requirement for the teaching of any subject and the understanding of what is being taught or studied.

A Nation of Readers
will create the
New Educational Paradigm for the 21st Century


(ANY CONCERNS PLEASE CALL US @ 281.690.1441 or theeducationalchallenge@yahoo.com)

1 comment:

  1. I accepted the educational challenge in October 2009. I am a Infant/Toddler Supervisor at Agape Children's Academy in Lawrencevile,NJ and I read to my infants for 15-20 minutes everyday before lunch. They enjoy every minute of the story through dramatic play.


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