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Alvin C. Romer

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Creating Literacy's Common Ground
by Alvin C. Romer   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, March 07, 2005
Posted: Monday, March 07, 2005

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Solutions to making book clubs, literary societies and other literal factions recognizant of better literacy goals.

Creating Literacy’s Common Ground

For all of the success that has benefited the arts and humanities community, a distant cousin sits at the crossroads of unbridled growth and uncertainty. The growing pains of literacy and literature as it pertain to the African-Americans has implications and legitimacy on many levels, but find itself in many areas playing second fiddle to the well-established mainstream literary juggernaut. Our muse for all things literary often will evolve around a world we created with the authors who’ve written passionately and persuasively preserving legacies and establishing common ground for continuity. It is this common ground of sorts that we must define and identify to extend the esthetics of what we read, what we write and how we want to give credence to icons in this setting. With this essay, I intend to focus on the dual resonance of literacy and African-American literacy and give suggestive input as to how we can better solidify our literal heritage. The former is an opportunity to encourage parents to address their own educational needs for family unity by stressing the importance of reading and taking it a little further to help shape minds of the little ones to write responsively. This would enable them to be models to others individually outside familial margins and to those collectively within the family to emulate. It is my contention that this alone is paramount to extend empowerment in children being prepared for future success.

Feeling the need….

You as parents will endeavor to support all efforts for the critical thinking process to promote reading, writing and language skills in gaining valuable insight into how families use literacy in their day-to-day life. No less complicated, but much more important is the how all of this bode for taking what we’ve accomplished forward for long and short-term facilitation. Pertaining to the subject at hand, I have questions to address both entities and hope to give solutions according and within reason. Family literacy and early childhood education is not new to me as I’m actively involved in my local community to espouse literacy’s common ground, but what is being done on a broader level? Do everyone support the need to promote bailiwicks of what we have in our midst. I wrote an earlier essay in reference to this (http://www.theromerreview.com/archives/dec02.html). What then are YOU doing to address the issue?

We spend upwards of $250,000.00 yearly buying books and other supporting paraphernalia in an industry that tend to be iconoclastic in nature that may not allow parity to balance the scales for recognition. Our literal heritage continues to thrive based on our penchant for reading, writing and supporting the humanities. We have first-time authors a dime a dozen who self-publish and autonomously do anything to get a toe-hold on notoriety. Our book clubs are proliferating online as we’re actively using that medium to expand and expose. The literary conferences are being inclusive…so are marketing forays suggesting that we’ve only scratched the surface. In some circles Johnny is STILL struggling to read, albeit much improvement has been eminent.

Where do we go from here?

Again, we’re saddled with how can we make changes to extrapolate to greater heights? What can be done so that our children can pass at random comprehensive assessment tests, or excel in any academic setting? There are quite a few things that are being done in professional organizations but more can be initiated. I’ve gone on record in my area of expertise to empower my community. I’m a mentor for a group of children that are not in the upward mobile mindset to achieve because they are learning deficient. But the thing that makes my heart sing is the fact that they are willing and want to learn; they’re hungry for attention and are teachable! I may be wrong, or they may be a few of you tend to disagree, but below are just a few of my ideas and conceptual suggestions I’m embracing for change:

· Volunteerism and Mentorship – We must do what we can to foster embellishing self, family and the community. More creative steps are prerequisites to involve your book club in community reading and writing projects. Volunteer time to help a child with phonetics and other reading assessment chores. We need to do whatever is necessary to champion the need to read.

· Special Projects Involving Corporate Partnership – Corporate America has the monetary infrastructure to make things happen for disadvantaged youths to spend money wisely and for good cause. What better way to make a difference than setting aside programming for special reading projects for positive impact?

· Early Childhood Reading Initiatives – Local libraries, universities, literary foundations and societies should embrace literacy and interject them proactively as early as possible within frameworks that would be a base for continuity.

· Family Literacy Initiatives – This is the number one liability between immigrant and indigenous familial settings. We MUST get our communities on a firmer foundation to guard against communal disenfranchisement. The way to do this is to incorporate and instill the importance of free-flowing knowledge and the wherewithal for total involvement of the whole family being literate! What are you doing on a local level to insure this?

· Seasonal Reading Programs – Reading modules that are deep-seated with policy & procedure in all levels of attachment comes with a protracted modus operandi. What is being done to take advantage of programs for reading involving local authors in your vicinity stressing literature and literature?

In closing, I base all of my assessment for this essay feeling positive that indeed more can be done to define our choices. Book clubs may be the arena where we can take it to another level. I believe that once we effectively define what a book club is and how can it address the bottom-line reading and writing basics we can feel comfortable in future endeavors. It can also be the genesis of what is outlined above to give more or less credence to the direction that book clubs should consider going. What are YOUR thoughts on this? I can be reached at n4wizone.yahoo.com for further discussion.

Web Site: Wet August Books



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