International Literacy Day – Are you feeling privileged to be reading this?

CoverProbably not a great deal, but you should.  Not because of the opportunity to sample my ever-so-sparkling prose (yeah, right!), but because far too many people in Aotearoa have difficulty in reading and understanding what they read at all.  In fact,  according to the results of  the Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey, over 40% of the adult population in New Zealand have low literacy skills.

It is hard to fully comprehend the difficulties that this large minority of people faces in dealing with the demands of everyday life.  So here’s my challenge to you on this International Literacy Day, 8 September:  stop and think about how often you rely on the written word … And how reading involves a lot more than just deciphering letters (ever felt lost trying to fill in an official form? I know I have, and I have a Master’s degree). Literacy Aotearoa has some suggestions.

So how can we help those who struggle with reading, writing and basic maths? Well, if you have taken my challenge, you are already helping: having an awareness of the issue is a great start.

If you would like to improve your literacy skills, or want to help someone else do so, try the following links.