How often do our kids engage in meaningful and authentic literacy practice?
With all of the opportunities kids have to read and write at home and school, how often are our kids reading or writing simply just to fulfill the requirements of an assignment?
Phonics, decoding and perpetual memorization are all key parts of language development, but often lack the most essential component: teaching kids to love literacy and to independently explore the world through reading and writing. Literacy is exponentially more appealing when framed within the reality that it is essential to survival, a stepping stool to success and a lense through which to see a better world. When kids are practicing literacy within this framework their motivation is ignited by the journey rather than the prompt.
This is a significant point to bring up considering…
that 26% of the world’s adult population is non-literate.
that in America, 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system cannot read well enough to perform daily tasks.
that multiple studies have proven that authentic literacy practice significantly impacts motivation to read and write and increases the expressive, critical and social nature of literacy reflections in both youth and adult learners. (See Study).
We can just give our kids the tools to read. Or we can also give our kids the hunger to consume the world intelligently through reading and to give wings to their own thoughts through writing.
Our kids can read the newspaper, a recipe or a letter from a friend.
Our kids can write a song, an email, a petition, a poem or a play.
Our kids can dialogue with other kids in their classrooms and across the world.
Let’s not just give our kids words. Let’s give our kids a place to use them.