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An Open Letter to Parents, Educators, and Boards of Education

Now is the time to seriously consider doing something to help a silent minority attain their rights to an equal educational opportunity.  Who knows, you might belong to this unusually silent minority and not even know it.

This fall all across our country our community schools will open with special adult community education classes for all kinds of minorities.  There will be classes for such minorities as those who want to learn to program computers, arrange flowers, speak a foreign language, train their dog, improve their keyboarding skills, decorate cakes, play duplicate bridge, etc.

But there is one minority that is being completely ignored.  That is, the small minority of adults who would like to know what they can do to help their child (or their spouse) learn to read or spell.

Check all the course offerings of your school's adult community education program for the past ten years.  There won't be any such class offered.  Now don't you think that this minority has as much right to help as the other minorities?  Why is it that there isn't?  Good question.  Tough to answer.

We talk about the literacy movement and the need for volunteers to help.  We have local literacy programs.  We have national groups such as Laubach Literacy International, Literacy Volunteers of America, and the AVKO Educational Research Foundation who train tutors.  And here in Michigan we have Michigan Literacy, Inc. that helps local literacy groups train tutors.  But the largest pool of potential volunteers lies untapped--those in the immediate family who can read.

True, not all of them care.  Not all of them feel that they can help.  But there is a minority who do care and who feel they can help.  There is a minority of parents who want to help their children learn to read.  They could and would help if they were trained.  There is a minority of adults who want to help their spouses learn to read.  They too would help if they were trained. 

Isn't it time your adult community education program had classes in tutoring family members in reading?  If your school is to have classes for parents this fall, now is the time for them to start planning before the rush to summer vacation begins. 

Download AVKO's free pamphlet entitled How to Set Up a Community Education Course for Adults Whose Children (OR SPOUSES) Have Reading/Spelling Problems.  Read the pamphlet and then give it to the Community School Director or a principal and make sure they begin planning. 

See also: If it is to be, it is up to US to HELP

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