I’m on the board of the Orange County Literacy Council.  Essential in our modern society is the ability to read, write, and communicate electronically.  In Orange County, there are over 15,000 adults who can’t read or write.

Illiteracy is a social disability.  It’s often not the fault of those who fall into this category.  It’s frequently a byproduct of educational neglect.

As Orange County’s educationally disadvantaged adult population ages, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to communicate with healthcare and local entitlement agencies.  While our rapidly increasing paperless world puts them at even greater risk of being left out and under-served.

We can all help alleviate the situation by helping identify those in need of literacy tuition in our communities and convince them that there is help out there.

It’s not their fault that they can’t read and write.  Their are at least 15,000 people in county who are just like them.  We can direct them to the Orange County Literacy Council and our various public libraries who will all have information about literacy classes.  Meanwhile, those of us inclined to help out by teaching, can become mentors.  Opening up the worlds of words and communication to people who have had to rely on tricks to shield themselves from public discovery of their illiteracy is highly rewarding.

So, get involved.  Go to the Orange County Literacy website and help your own neighbor or friend discover the world of words.

We will be a better world for it.

— Nerys Levy


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