November ignites the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Sweater weather is in full swing, we’re all in panic mode to plan the perfect dinner, and we budget and budget for the perfect gift. Sometimes this chaos can cause us to lose sight of the important things. This month also begins National Family Literacy Month, so I challenge you to step back from the madness and reflect on what that means to you!
So what does it mean to be literate? The power of literacy extends farther than our set idea of knowing how to read and write. It is also the ability to speak, think, listen, express, understand, and form new opinions. With the season of giving, let’s ask ourselves how we can use our basic skills to improve literacy within ourselves and our community.
I live in small-town Clarion, PA. Community means everything! Everyone knows everyone, and there is always a helping hand around when you’re in need of one. The Community Learning Workshop on Main Street is a place where students can gather for the learning support and guidance they need. The center also welcomes adults who need help with their GEDs, tutoring, and other life skills.
A network like this allows young and old minds alike to collaborate and experience different learning styles, processes, and techniques. The more we are exposed to different ways of speaking, thinking, listening, and so on, the more we can adapt those skills to our day-to-day routines. This is what it means to be literate!
If you can’t volunteer or shadow at a learning center, there are more options for you! Sit in on a class you would never think of taking. Call your local library to see if they need a hand. Ask questions to start a thoughtful conversation with someone you admire. There is not a right or wrong way to explore literacy! The idea is to grow to your own skills so your community can benefit. We all know that knowledge is power, and we need to use it!
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November is National Family Literacy Month