Literacy: Why Reading is Still Fundamental

Our ability to navigate through daily life is dependent upon reading the written word. This is why reading is still fundamental—it’s literally a lifeline.

“If you can read this it means you’re too *#% close!” I used to love this bumper sticker because it was snarky but clever. It never occurred to me that many drivers sharing the roadways with me, can’t read it no matter how close they get!

Reading is fundamental

rifRIF is the largest non-profit organization devoted to children’s literacy. It was started in 1966 by Margaret McNamera, wife of United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. She launched it because she was alarmed to discover how many children didn’t have ready access to books.

I shared her alarm when I read the following in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell: “…a third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives, and 42 percent of college graduates similarly never read a book after college.1 And publisher David Godine claims that only 32 percent of the U.S. population has ever been in a bookstore.”

It is estimated that 32 million adult Americans cannot read. Approximately 20 percent of high schools graduate students without their knowing how to read at the high school level. And then many of them head off to college. 

According to the World Literacy Foundation, “Illiteracy, the inability to read or write, costs the global economy an estimated $1.19 trillion annually….”

Take a moment and Let. That. Sink. In.

Reading is our roadmap 

Almost everything we do requires some level of reading proficiency.

Voting ballots. Prescription warnings. Ikea assembly instructions.  Traffic signs. “No swimming” posts. Drivers manuals. Danger signs. Menus. Recipes. Food recall alerts. Movie marquees. Greeting cards. Twitter.  Emails.  Texts. Textbooks. Comic books. Blogs. Newspapers. Breaking news alerts. Magazines. Love letters. Business contracts. Foreign movie subtitles. Billboards. Basketball scores. NFL draft lists. Serena Williams’ Instagrams of  love about her baby girl.

Imagine navigating through this world without being able to read your own drivers license! Or using landmarks as guideposts because you can’t read maps or street signs.  Imagine faking your way through a job application. Imagine what you’d miss if you couldn’t “read “the world around you!

A sign of the times 

Illiteracy marginalizes millions of people, leaving them on the fringes of mainstream society without basic life skills, technological literacy and computer access, or other survival tools. It has been directly linked to unemployment, poverty, chronic health issues, poor dietary habits, welfare dependency, social isolation, and crime.

In partnership with Book Bundlers, Magnovo’s Leveraging Literacy initiative is helping to change the world one book at a time and your company can help. How?  By building a team among your staffers to give free books to kids, teens, and adults in your city. You’ll open a whole new world of discovery, adventure, and opportunity to them.

Mission Kids Care Team Building Workshop Logo 1Through our virtual Mission: Kids Care Charity Workshop, you can transform the lives of your younger neighbors by supplying grade-specific books to supplement their classroom reading. Notebooks. Paper. Pens. Highlighters. Art supplies. Calculators. Rulers. Flash drives.

These and other school supplies often strain the budgets of low income families. And  many families are suddenly dealing with layoffs, remote learning arrangements, and other major life changes. So they could definitely use the help. Your team’s support could make a tremendous difference in their quality of life and the quality of their children’s education.

If you can read, you are rich!

Increased potential for secondary and collegiate academic success. Dramatically increased employability. Relief from poverty. Reduced participation in criminal activity. Markedly improved health. Informed consumerism. More intentional eating habits. Better self care. Positive self-esteem. Active and enlightened political participation. 

These are just a few of the benefits of reading proficiency. And your generosity can open the door to this exciting new lifestyle for families and their kids in your hometown.