For some reason we are still tackling literacy in the United States. * Estimates have 20% of the population is below basic. That means they have only the most basic vocabulary, high frequency words, and little to no comprehension. Another 30% are basic readers. That means they have basic reading skills but no critical understand. That's 50% of Americans! What's gone wrong here?
Ever since the government introduced the common core standards 10 years ago, teaching reading in upper elementary and secondary schools has still not caught on. Really you say? ....REALLY, REALLY!
My assumption is we have accepted the idea that learning a language comes naturally for our species (that seems reasonable). Creating and speaking a language seems inherent in our DNA and we are naturally motivated. But, a written language is culturally constructed and taught (no getting around that). In the Unites States we abandon structured reading essentially past the second grade, even though it is now part of the common core requirements (Standards RI & RL.10). Teaching to read beyond the ages of 7 or 8 is a painful experience for students and teachers. And it only gets worst. Because we have not taught reading to these late learners, we are ill equipped. I am on a goal to close that gap. We should continue to teach reading from K to 12 grades. It just has to happen.
The donations I receive will be spent preparing reading materials for these age groups. Classrooms need a large volume of passages at increasing complexities (a fancy way of saying the reading becomes more difficult) to be taught explicitly. Who will write these passages? You, teachers, students, and anyone else who would like to create a 200 to 300 word essay. Will you pay me for contributing as a writer? Yes! I will pay you for composing short reading passages.
Short complex reading has already been proven as a valuable tool for increasing children's reading proficiency. That is known. But, we need a lot of passages. For a full explanation of this concept of paying for passages, go to YourLivingCurriculum.com
All of the money raised on GoFundMe will be used to make teaching reading a reality in schools. I hope you will either write a passage or donate what ever you can to pay others who will donate their written skills in constructing a passage library. This is an experiment to expand the academic community for all. Join me as we tackle the literacy epidemic together in the United States.
*Source for literacy was at the Wylie Communications web site
. The research they site was conducted in 2012. Other sources may confirm or refute their percentage (%) . However, they're all ballpark.