According to Sandy Lipkowitz, reading is not just a hobby, but rather an important aspect of life on which everything is based.
In the spirit of literacy week, which was declared as this week by Gov. Sonny Perdue, various organizations throughout the community are doing their part to get the word out about literacy.
“This week is about trying to encourage everyone to read,” Lipkowitz said. “The more you read, the more words you know, which in turn improves your comprehension and assists you in performing better in school or at work.”
Lipkowitz is the executive director of the Reading Education Association of Dawson County, and is partnering with the Adult Education Center, Sawnee Electric and the Dawson County Kiwanis Club to promote literacy week.
“We are doing what we can to reach out to everyone who needs help with reading, whether it be young children, school age children or adults,” Lipkowitz said. “No one should be or feel embarrassed for not being able to read well. Stepping forward and asking for help is the key to improving your life.”
Last week, R.E.A.D., in partnership with Sawnee EMC, donated a total of 305 thesauruses, enough for all eighth grade students in Dawson County, both public and private schools.
“The thesaurus will not only help them with their classroom assignments, but also help facilitate lifelong learning,” Lipkowitz said. “The thesaurus is a valuable tool that can help the eighth grade student expand his or her vocabulary knowledge and gain a better understanding of word relationships as they prepare for high school and beyond.”
Lipkowitz added that giving a student their own thesaurus instills a sense of pride when they can look up words on their own, promoting learning and helping students mold their self-confidence and independence.
Third grade students throughout the county also benefited from literacy week promotions.
Through the partnership of R.E.A.D. and the Dawson County Kiwanis Club, 314 dictionaries were donated to all Dawson County third grade students to encourage vocabulary enhancements and assist them in completing the school year as good writers, active readers and creative thinkers.
“Reading is the most important skill of all. It is the starting point for all the economic and social opportunities this world has to offer,” Lipkowitz said. “Educators see third grade as the dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn.”
She continued: “Many times, it can be difficult for parents to get their children to read. I encourage the parents to support their child reading whatever it is they enjoy, whether it be a magazine about cars or a book about shoes, it doesn’t have to be a novel,” she says. “Encouraging children to read subjects that interest them will not only help them learn to read, but also teach them to love to read.”
According to the governor’s proclamation declaring this week as literacy week, about one in five American adults cannot read or write with sufficient skill to function optimally in today’s society. In Georgia, about 1.3 million adults have not completed high school or received a GED.
“Illiteracy can be alleviated by increased public awareness and intensive citizen support in our communities — through our schools, libraries, work places and volunteer programs on the local, state and national level,” said Perdue in the proclamation.
Recognizing the importance of everyone being able to read, and in an effort to reach out to the literacy needs of the community as a whole, Lipkowitz said that dictionaries and thesauruses will also be donated to the Dawson County Detention Center, as well as the Dawson County Adult Education Center.
For more information, contact Lipkowitz at (706) 579-1771 or at ReadDawson@yahoo.com.