The power of literacy



I cannot fathom what life would be like without literacy. It is something that comes so easily to me, and I live my day to day life taking for granted this incredible privilege I was blessed with. For some, this is a daily struggle. Literacy has embedded itself into every aspect of life, from books and signs, to ads and news. We are surrounded by words, that we have the option to glance at and read, or not, but it is at our leisure and our choosing, because we, for the most part, have the ability to read and write. The man in this video that I have attached was not handed the same opportunities I was. Why was I given grand opportunities, while others were not?

This man was visually frustrated and terribly upset that he could not read the book his son worked so hard on. How could he share in the joy, if he did not have a concept as to what was written? There are various possible reasons as to why he was not taught literary at an early age, that we are unaware of. Regardless of situations and circumstances that may have occurred in his life, he had a goal and through countless hours and dedication, he was able to achieve this goal. I felt pure frustration in my heart at the beginning of the video, thinking of myself in that situation. The thought that I could pick up a book and not be able to read what it says is heart-wrenching.

I can only imagine sitting down and having a book in German, per se, put in front of me, and told that I need to read it. What would I do? I was never taught German, I was not given that opportunity, how could I be expected to be remotely literate in this language?

Before even starting school, I knew the alphabet, could write my name, and could read simple books in English, because my family wanted to ensure that I would be prepared going into school. I was put into kindergarten at age five at a wonderful school, in the French Immersion program. Through my years at this school, and in this program, I quickly became literate and fluent in both English and French. This is a skill I was seemingly unaware that everyone did not receive, as I was surrounded by individuals who were given the same opportunities as I.  The realization that I have many people in my life now who can only speak, read, and write in one language was mind-boggling to me. It’s rather difficult to wrap my mind around the idea of not knowing what I know now, because it’s all I’ve ever known.

I love school and learning so dearly, and truly enjoy my time in and out of the classroom. Constantly learning and growing in my skills, and my profound love of literacy continues to grow. I am certainly blessed, and fully aware in this moment that this skill that I possess does not come as easily to others. If I am able to help others, in my life now and my future career, pursue any sort of passion in this area or further develop their skills, I will be so content. I would love to see the world love and admire the beauty of words, just as I do.


7 thoughts on “The power of literacy

  1. I really love how you connected yourself to this man in the video! I especially like how you gave examples of what it would be like for you not to be able to read something and how it would make you feel.This shows me you truly understand what it would be like to be illiterate and are very passionate about this topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Please excuse any typing mistakes I make as my eyesight is blurry from all of the tears falling out of my eyes! What a powerful video, a true representation of the power of literacy! What stood out to me most in this video, was not only how you connect to people through literacy by reading their thoughts and ideas (his son’s book) but through comedy as well. With him writing on someone’s car “wash me” or “hello sexy” to his wife, he is able to connect to people through a whole new light. This video is inspiration to people who may not have been able to access an education growing up, but that is never too late to learn. GREAT video Janelley, thanks for sharing it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SO POWERFUL! I’m so glad I came across this video, as it truly shows how important literacy is. I love that aspect of the video as well! Shows how we can express ourselves in so many different ways, and how valuable it is to connect to people in these ways. Thanks for your words Sammi! I’m glad you liked it! 🙂


  3. oh my gosh Janelle! What a wonderful video! It really reinforced how lucky I am to have the literacy skills that I do. I loved how the video demonstrated that learning to read and write does not have to just one basic approach. Singing, games, books and group conversation all play important factors in developing literacy skills. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. p.s that was supposed to be an explanation point after your name, not another l! My typing skills are obviously not as strong as my literacy skills! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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