Writers who care support literacy for all...
Hey I see you list yourself as a Literacy Advocate on your website. What the heck is that about?
A literacy advocate is a person who understands and values the gift of literacy in her own life. She acknowledges the doors that have been opened for her to experience life to the fullest simply because she could read, comprehend the written word and construct meaningful written text too. I believe literacy skills are one of the greatest gifts we can give to each others.
My thoughts on literacy have changed quite a bit over the years. I was poor growing up, being raised by a single mom along with my four sisters. We lived on the margins of white society, often in low-rent Hispanic areas of town. But I was lucky, I had a parent who really valued reading, music and storytelling. At an early age I discovered the public library and once it became known that I was a voracious reader, I was adopted into the fold. I still believe our public libraries are one of our most valuable resources, for everyone, but especially the poor, the immigrants and the curious. I love libraries.
Not everyone has had such luck in life. Not everyone in Canada, or the U.S. or many European countries have unrestricted access to books and learning. If this is true in the west, imagine what unbelievable wealth this abundance must appear to poor Mexicans, Africans and a whole slew of non-western cultures. How can you possibly make sound career choices, life choices, governance choices without access to information that can help you choose intelligently? Lack of literacy skills is not about being stupid. It is about lack of resources, period. A person needs books to learn how to read. Needs access to teachers to acquire the initial skills and improve as they mature. And the need to be imbedded in a community that values those things – for all it’s citizens.
I want to use my writing and storytelling skills to further the Literacy of the world. I want to use the tools I have acquired over the years to put books and coaches in the hands of the children and adults throughout the world who want the skills I have. I may not go there personally – but I can reach out to those who can, and support their mission.
I hope you will too.