Opinion

Editorial: Literacy the cornerstone of education

Literacy is the foundation of an educated life. The ability to read opens up new worlds to people of all ages.

For the very young, reading is the cornerstone to starting off right with the basics in schooling. First, they're demystifying those black designs on a page into letters, but eventually those reading skills will help them easily plough though 12 years of basic education.

For teenagers, reading can provide an imaginary escape. And for many, writing in a journal can be as therapeutic as chatting with an old friend. In this way, literacy skills can help lift spirits, and even decrease depression.

For young adults, reading and writing skills need to go beyond text speak that often reads more like bingo numbers than the English language. A good handle on literacy can lead to better communication, and will increase the chances of landing a better job.

Unfortunately, there are people among us who never quite grasped the written language. There are parents who can't decipher letters from the teacher, and grandparents who can't read to their grandchildren.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Next Monday is Family Literacy Day. It's a day to celebrate all things written, and spoken, with the ones you love. So, grab a book and read it to your children. Offer a journal and a pen to your teen. Help a young adult revise a cover letter, or encourage a parent to hit the books.

Because it's never too late to learn.

- Agassiz Harrison Observer

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