What is Literacy?

jungle-gymAlthough we often think literacy equals reading, it is much more than that. Literacy has many facets: reading and writing, talking and listening, critical thinking and analysis. It is a skill we develop to express ourselves, share ideas, understand one another, and even solve problems.

It’s not uncommon to hear people talk about “financial literacy” or “computer literacy.” What all of these literacies have in common is that they represent the functional use of skills in a particular functional area (money, technology, etc.). We aren’t born with these skills. We learn them.

We can recognize the symbols of letters and numbers before we can spell words. We can use words in speech long before we are able to read or write them. Literacy is a journey that begins with the sounds and giggles we make as infants and grows into vast collections of words and ideas throughout our lives.


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