"Reading is Fundamental", is a strong statement that very few people think deeply about. In today's world, being unable to read and comprehend the written word is a severe handicap. Many students in our schools read at a level much lower than their actual grade or do not read at all. There are many reasons for this lack.
Do you remember reading to a sleepy child as they settle down for the night. That is one of my fondest memories of being a child, a parent and a grandmother. It is a special bonding time with the child but it also is unspoken statement the reading and books have a place in their world. Today's child may play themselves to sleep with the latest video game or nothing at all.
Going to the library, in today's world, has become more complicated. Parents are both working to make ends meet, Library hours are not within their schedule and heavy fees are levied if you do not live in the right community. Parents are stressed to get them to a place that, in my childhood, was filled with magic and mystery. It's wonderful to see an excited child lugging a stack of new "adventures ' out of the library on their way to visit new worlds and meet new friends. A young person once made the statement that they would rather watch videos. Reading gives you the chance for unlimited videos, as you stretch your imagination and picture the story unfolding in your mind.
The computer has helped and hurt. Games and texting take away the time you can read. But in all fairness the new e-readers have been an aid for encouraging readers who like the tech concept of books.
Reading increases your vocabulary and gives you the ability to do better in all aspects of your life. Job interviews, College applications, filling out lease forms, buying a car, buying a house.......the list goes on. Understanding or comprehending what you read is important. Reading a lease agreement and not understanding it can cost you a great deal. Signing for something that you do not understand can cause you to lose money, possessions, property.
The Daughters of the American Revolution are strong supporters of the Literacy programs in our area. This month the Nancy Ward Chapter has collected books to donate to the Northside Neighborhood house.vThe JAC at GPS, sponsored by the Chief John Ross Chapter, has also had a book drive. Learning to read is important ,but having a book to take home is a motivator to continue reading. The Chief John Ross Chapter provides financial assistance to Re:Start for individuals taking the GED. Literacy is a priority to all five chapters of the DAR, Moccasin Bend Chapter, Judge David Campbell Chapter and Chickamauga Chapter also have programs throughout the year to help increase literacy in our community. Included in their programs are donations of books to the library and churches, support of Dolly Parton's reading program, reading to students in schools. November is Literacy Month for the DAR . But every month should be a time of learning and sharing the joy of learning with others.
Nancy Henderson, DAR
* * *
A forgotten school seems to be Sequoyah High School, an accredited school that provides very much needed job training programs for kids who either don't fit or don't wish to fit into the college preparatory programs around the rest of the county.
Every elementary school in Hamilton County has a library and most, if not all, have librarians. Some have library assistants. Sequoyah High School doesn't even have a library. The last time I spoke to the lady in the office she said she keeps books on a roll-around cart by her desk and teachers keep books in their classrooms.
If reading is fundamental, why doesn't Sequoyah even have a library? Why do those teachers have to beg, borrow, and buy books themselves for those kids?
Royce Burrage Jr.