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The firing pin

March 2, 2011 - Steve Murch
Do you remember Reading is Fundamental campaign? I remember the phrase, but don't remember much of the ad campaign. I think part of it was I didn't pay much attention to public service announcements (still don't for the most part, but you can't avoid some of them on the 6 p.m. WBKB newscast).

The point of the campaign was to promote Reading is Fundamental, which is the nation's largest nonprofit children's literacy organization. The overriding message is that we need reading in our everyday lives. There isn't a facet of life that we don't need reading. Yet, we have people young and old who can't read.

The annual March is Reading Month campaign in under way and schools throughout the area are promoting reading with various activities. There are lots of schools that have reading programs throughout the year, encouraging the students to read with the promise they will be rewarded for achieving so many books read. When my dad was superintendent in Posen, he dressed up as a super hero and rollerbladed around the gym floor for the elementary students.

All this is done to make sure kids can read. The often-overlooked segment of our population is the adults who can't read, but there are programs that help adults learn to read. It must be difficult to get by without the ability to read. Can you imagine going to a restaurant and not being able to read the menu? Or not being able to read warning labels on packages? It must be tough.

How many of you like to sit with a good book? It's one of my favorite things to do. You're reading this online, but there are countless people who are unable to do that.

If education is the silver bullet, then reading is the firing pin. You can't make a bullet move without it being struck, which is where the firing pin comes in. You can't learn much if you can't read. We need to make sure that everyone –young and old – can read so they can learn as much as they want.


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