What does literacy mean? According to Dictionary.com, (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/literate?s=t) literacy is the quality or state of being literate, especially the ability to read and write. Literacy and knowledge are gained through studying a particular subject or field. Unfortunately for some people, being illiterate can imply that they are worthless in society and unfit to be productive citizens in their communities. Some people are not given an equal opportunity at earning a proper education and learning how to read and write which can cause them to struggle their entire lives. I believe that literacy is acquired through education with a large amount of practice along the way. I also believe that achieving literacy is a constant process and there is always room to learn and grow.
During elementary, middle, and high school, my outlook on literacy has obviously changed over the years. I vividly remember being in the first grade and my goal, like many other six year olds, was to “be a big girl” and learn how to read and write. Once I got the hang of these skills, my next goal was to master and perfect them. As my literacy skills improved, I realized that I was not reaching the potential I was capable of. Especially now as a college freshman, I feel like my literacy skills could use a great deal of improvement. Schooled literacy has taught me to read and write in an average way, but I do believe I have not been able to accomplish the standards that are expected of me.
I believe that the reference in the article to Deborah Brandt and her analysis of 21st-century America, describes how literacy affects the way we see ourselves and others in an excellent way. She states that, “literacy is not ‘neutral,’ but rather carries the social value of our time.” This is so true and proves that people tend to find their value in their knowledge and literacy skills. She proceeds to state that “Good children get ahead in school and in life. Good parents read to children…” This portrays the “true” definition of literacy and that “its real value lies in its relationship to productivity and economic well-being.” (The Elements of Literacy).