If you are reading this, you have already lost the challenge.
To mark International Literacy Day on September 8, literacy organizations in New York City challenge people to go five minutes without reading. The challenge aims to highlight how difficult it can be to get through the day with low literacy skills.
“The way we highlight illiteracy in our community is to ask people to try and stop reading for five minutes. And that might be easier for some than for others, but we take it for granted how often we read, ”says Literacy Buffalo Niagara Executive Director Tara Schafer.
According to Literacy New York, about 25 percent of adults are considered “low literacy” in New York. In Erie and Niagara counties alone, according to Schafer, 143,000 people have low literacy skills.
She suggests that the causes of low literacy are often more important than an individual or beyond their control. Reasons may include educational inequity, coming to the United States from another country, or having a learning disability.
“It’s often an issue that people don’t want to discuss. And it makes sense. It can be embarrassing at times, it can be shameful. And we are really trying to turn this into an opportunity for the people who need our help. help to recognize that and come visit us, ”Schafer said.
Literacy Buffalo Niagara helps people develop literacy skills through volunteer-led programs. As part of the challenge, they’re asking anyone who can’t go five minutes without reading to consider donating to a literacy organization instead.
To learn more about Literacy Buffalo Niagara, click here.