Gen 105 - Week 5 - Mastering A Skill Essay

781 Words4 Pages
Imagine yourself unable to read your medication label, or unable to fill out paperwork to enroll your child in school. Imagine not knowing how to read street signs so that you can navigate your way to the hospital. Imagine having the desire to learn more, but the inability to find out. These are realities that millions of Americans must face every day. I strongly believe that literacy is not only a skill but a right that all people deserve. Literacy is defined as, “Using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential” (Krutner, Greenberg, Jin, Boyle, Has, and Dunleavy, 2007). This critical proficiency effects not only the individual, but the larger society as well. Illiteracy has been proven to have a significant impact on business productivity, thus negatively impacting their financial results. Additionally, a person’s ability to read and write is a skill that bears significant importance on their quality of life, as illiteracy is tied to both increased poverty and incarceration rates. An individual’s ability to read and write effects the opportunities which they have available to them. Studies documented through the National Institute for Literacy estimate that “43% of adults with very low literacy skills live in poverty” (O’Neill, 2009). Compare this to the just 4% of literate adults who live in poverty, and the relationship is hard to ignore (O’ Neill, 2009). Beyond the economic impacts, numerous studies have linked high rates of juvenile delinquency with poor literacy rates. These young citizens often struggle to gain this basic right, which is imperative to the betterment of their quality of life. While both of these scenarios create a significant burden on state and local resources, just as significant is

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