Thursday, February 24, 2011

Each one teach one

This evening I'm participating in a panel discussion on literacy. Each of is is supposed to mention our first experiences with literacy. My parents were teachers and my mother was also a librarian, so books were an important part of my childhood. One of my first memories is sitting in my mother's lap as she read me this poem:

Five Little Chickens

Said the first little chicken,
With a queer little squirm,
"Oh, I wish I could find 
A fat little worm!"

Said the next little chicken, 
With an odd little shrug, 
"Oh, I wish I could find 
A fat little bug!"

Said the third little chicken,
With a sharp little squeal, 
"Oh, I wish I could find
Some nice yellow meal!"

Said the fourth little chicken,
With a small sigh of grief,  
"Oh, I wish I could find
A green little leaf!"

Said the fifth little chicken,
With a faint little moan,
"Oh, I wish I could find
A wee gravel-stone!"

"Now, see here, said the mother,
From the green garden-patch.
"If you want any breakfast,
You must come and scratch."

It is estimated that 20% of parents in the USA could not read a poem like this to their child. If you can contribute in any way to your community's efforts to reduce illiteracy, consider doing it! The rewards are substantial. I've been a literacy tutor for 5 years now and it's an important part of my life. The motto at our center is "Each One Teach One." I'm just glad to be one. 

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