Fight back against illiteracy

Published 9:06 pm Friday, October 2, 2009

Sunday, runners from throughout Hampton Roads will converge on Harbor View for the second annual Race for Literacy benefiting the United Way.

Proceeds from the event, which will give options of a 10-miler, 5K and one-mile fun run, will go to benefit the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ effort to reduce the horrific levels of illiteracy in our community.

Reports have documented that the Suffolk area has an estimated 30 percent adult illiteracy rate, meaning that nearly one out of every three residents cannot read today’s newspaper. That is one out of three residents who cannot properly read a job application or the instructions on how to operate a piece of machinery.

We often forget about the problem of illiteracy in our community, instead focusing on areas of job growth, education development and infrastructure. But what new industry will want to locate to an area with such high illiteracy? How will they be able to fill their positions and ensure a safe and efficient work environment?

The problem of illiteracy should no longer be taken for granted and be pushed back into the shadows in favor of other projects.

The further development of our education system and finding a solution to our terribly high illiteracy should be at the forefront of every community effort.