Monday, March 29, 2010
Learning to read
Okay, I did have something to write about though. Today was my first time meeting with the lady I'm going to be tutoring for learning how to read and write in English. I feel very strongly about being involved in my community, and have been trying to get involved in this program since before Christmas, so I was super excited. And, after tonight, I'm even more so.
The lady I'll be working with seems awesome. I don't want to put down many details to protect her privacy, but she's from Ghana, and flat out told me that educating women there is just not something that happens. I know this happens around the world, but it's quite another matter to meet someone who has experienced it. She speaks several languages already, and it really conversant in English, but can't really read or write. Her husband, a graduate student here at UC Davis, is really pushing her to learn. It's going to great getting to know her better, and help her along the path to literacy.
All of this has gotten me thinking about what the world would be like without being able to read. Honestly, I don't know how illiterate people could even function. Drivers tests, street signs, signs in the hospital, bills, reading is everywhere! It would make me nuts trying to get by without this basic ability. Yet, there are so many people that do. 1 in 5 people in California can't read in English. 1 in 6 in my county. That's unbelievable. (Apparently this statistic is not counting immigrants, too, which is even more crazy!) Where did the educations system break down for these folks? What do we all need to better? So many things to think about, and for those who want to make the time, this is a great area to really make a difference in someone's life, right in your own community.
Just think about not being able to read a book. *shivers*