Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Kaylan Freeman (Kingsbury High School)
Although this is an age in which almost anything one would like to know can be accessed by a smartphone, there are still large amounts of people in the United States that cannot make use of this information.
According to current statistics, 30 million citizens in this country cannot read at a third grade level. To put this in a more local perspective 120,000 adults in Memphis are considered illiterate.
Literacy MidSouth is attempting to do something about these numbers by providing communities with learning opportunities for both children and adults. Their goal is to fight the war on illiteracy by arming people with education.
When asked for the typical age range of members, Troy Wiggins, Adult Learning Coordinator, said that there isn’t one. He even said he remembers helping a 19-year-old who recently graduated high school.
This raises many questions. How does one graduate high school without learning how to read? What steps can be taken to assure literacy? Who is at risk at falling through the hole in America’s education system? Why are there holes to begin with?
Finding answers to these questions are no longer just the responsibility of lawmakers and educators. They cannot be discussed behind closed doors anymore. Students must take a stand and demand to be heard. They must demand to be acknowledged.
This generation is the future of America and should be treated as such. Literacy Midsouth’s goal as an organization is to have 100 percent literacy in Memphis. Though this is a lofty ambition, their mission should be backed by everyone.
Education is key. Youth doesn’t excuse us from caring.