Skip To Main Content

Literacy is Everywhere

literacy is everywhere
  • 2023-24

The word “literacy” has gotten a lot of attention lately – and that’s a good thing! When you hear the word “literacy” what do you think of? Some people may think of reading, or reading and writing, but literacy is so much more than that. 

The word “literacy” has gotten a lot of attention lately – and that’s a good thing! When you hear the word “literacy” what do you think of? Some people may think of reading, or reading and writing, but literacy is so much more than that. 

Two of the strongest synonym matches for the term “literacy” on Thesaurus.com are “knowledge” and “learning.” That opens a whole world of possibility and is where we can help our students become stronger in their literacy skills.

Our youngest students can learn that when we create a list, and better yet when we use that list, we are using literacy skills. When we use a map, no matter if it is a paper map or following directions on Google Maps, we are using map literacy skills. When we check a receipt, pay a bill, or sign a contract, we are using literacy skills. When we read a recipe, use a measuring cup, or check nutrition facts, we are using literacy skills. 

Literacy is everywhere.

Reading and writing are absolutely crucial components of literacy. Speaking, listening and asking questions help us learn, so these skills are also extremely important components of literacy.

We all engage in literacy whether or not we even know we are. When looking at art, we work to understand the visual text created by a painter. When we listen to music, we hear poetry. Online videos showing us how to fix something is a part of media literacy – we are learning and becoming more knowledgeable. Posts on Instagram or other social media platforms and Superbowl commercials are texts that have messages for us.

Literacy is everywhere. 

On International Literacy Day in 1997, Kofi Annon, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, stated, “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society.” Literacy is everywhere.

We ask you to partner with us and show your children some of the ways you use literacy skills in your everyday life. Explain to your child why you are looking for a video or recipe focused on how to make chicken shawarma, and then watch it with them. Consider showing your pre-teen how making a list is helpful in remembering what to do and when to have it done. The next time you use a search engine to find an answer, talk through your process with your children – to help show them that literacy is everywhere.

 

Warmly,

Tia Clasen
Director of Teaching and Learning - Secondary

  • Literacy
  • SoWashCo Schools