What if you couldn’t read?

Most of you that will stumble in and read this blog derive great pleasure from reading. Next to writing, reading is one of my favourite things to do with my spare time. So for this What if? Wednesday I decided to ask the question – What if you couldn’t read? Imagine if you couldn’t read the directions on a child’s bottle of medication or couldn’t even read the questions on a job application? What would your day to day life be like? How would it be different?

I was one of the lucky in the world, I learned basic reading skills before I even entered school. Which basically means that at the age of five I could read better than an estimated 1 out of 7 US adults and 1 out of 6 UK adults can do now. As a former reading teacher trained in reading recovery, I know how hard and how much time it takes for children and adults to learn to read after they reach a certain age. I also know the importance of the skill. My current paid job heavily relies on both reading and writing skills. I work for a charity that helps people with various disabilities and health conditions. One of the things we do for people is help them fill in forms. I have seen first hand how illiteracy can affect a person’s life.

A while back I stumbled across this page on facebook and thought it was a great idea.

This is my 100th post and I have decided to donate it to two literacy charities. Why two? Well because I was born and raised in America but have lived in England for quite a few years now and I believe literacy charities in both countries deserve a mention.

Growing up I can remember watching this public service announcement:

Reading is Fundamental is a charity that is still going strong in the US. They still donate books to children and their families who need them the most. They rely heavily on donations and volunteers to keep their programmes running.

In the UK, The National Literacy Trust is a charity that was founded in 1993 to help improve the literacy skills of people in the UK through working in partnership with schools and other projects throughout the country. They too rely heavily on donations and volunteers to continue the work they do.


About Billie Jo Schinnerer

Born and raised on the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment in eastern New York. Formerly a primary and middle school teacher. Moved to the North West area of England in 2003. Now a mother of three and a wannabe author.
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2 Responses to What if you couldn’t read?

  1. It’s hard to imagine. I would not be the same person I am today. Reading stimulates imagination, informs, teaches, lets me escape, thrills and scares me.

  2. writingsprint says:

    Oral tradition. If we couldn’t read, we would speak to each other!

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