Literacy is defined as the quality or state of being literate, especially the ability to read and write, possession of education, or a person’s knowledge of a particular subject or field.
Although literacy is not limited to reading and writing, they are considered the fundamental building blocks of educations. Learning to read is learning to see. Today’s society requires much more than being able to sound out words; one must be able to interpret text, to see the deeper meaning. Learning to read is learning to communicate. Acquiring basic literacy skills allows us to convey messages to one another, express ourselves, and interact with one another. Literacy in the many forms, allows us to fully understand the world around us, or at least try.
Literacy was limited in the eighteenth century. Those who were fortunate enough to read had a limited source. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that in this day and age with some 775 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all thus remains elusive. Today we are exposed to many different forms of literacy whether through physical copies of books or in electronic forms. With that being said, it almost makes sense to take advantage of this privilege. The lack of literacy is often associated with a low quality of life and poor academic progress. According to the American Psychological Association, Children’s initial reading competence is correlated with the home literacy environment; number of books owned and parent distress (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008). In a nationwide study of American kindergarten children, 36 percent of parents in the lowest-income quintile read to their children on a daily basis, compared with 62 percent of parents from the highest-income quintile (Coley, 2002).
Today’s society is changing rapidly and in order to keep up we must improve our literacy skills. Improving these skills whether academic, non-academic, or even of different cultures, we are improving our role in society and in turn how society operates is enhanced as well. In order to thrive in today’s society, we must maintain and even further enhance our literacy skills, whether it is to read, to write, or even to solve problems.
American Psychological Association. "Education and Socioeconomic Status." Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. "Statistics on Literacy." Web. 23 Jan. 2015.