Upgrade Your Literacy

Texas is failing limited-English schoolchildren, Lisa Falkenberg writes in the Houston Chronicle. I’ve written about our dropout crisis before. Students who don’t succeed turn into adults who are struggling.

Here’s something you can do: Teach adult literacy classes.

Almost anyone can do it. Check out these two organizations in Houston that are training tutors and connecting them with adults aspiring to become literate: Literacy Council of Fort Bend and Literacy Advance.

Adult illiteracy costs the state billions of dollars each year. It’s a source of shame and frustration for those who wish they could read e-mails at work or help their kids with their homework. Many adults are willing to take time from their busy work and family schedules to learn how to read and write. All they need are willing tutors.

Last fall, I spent six hours training with the Literacy Council of Fort Bend. The training is eye-opening and actually quite fun. Now I’m ready to start teaching! There are two options. You can teach basic literacy to those who speak English as their first language. These are usually individuals who went through the school system without fully developing their reading and writing skills. Some may have had to drop out at an early age and didn’t have an opportunity to catch up. You can also teach those who speak English as a second language, which is what I’ll be doing.

They say the best way to master something is to teach, right?


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