So, like everything else in this new normal of underemployment, unemployment, revenue cuts, doing more with less, it becomes so much more challenging to get previously expected services and resources to add up. Specifically, I mean it seems that we have the perfect storm of school budget reductions, public library budget reductions and the assaults on the family budget.
Don’t run away yet! I want to raise the question- does this mean that families and caregivers will need to rethink our current roles in daily life to ensure success for reading, reflection and lifelong learning?
Check out the research and statistics for yourselves at Add It Up – an American Library Association project that provides data and studies surrounding the impact of literacy and learning on success in and beyond school. These three summaries particularly resonate in this struggle of ours to emerge from economic forces that prevail today:
There is a positive and statistically significant relationship between children’s services in public libraries and early reading success at school.
When the act of reading extends beyond the schoolroom and becomes part of daily life, ongoing literacy is on its way to becoming a reality.
In an increasingly global, technological economy…young people must also be able to work comfortably with people from other cultures, solve problems creatively, write and speak well, think in a multidisciplinary way, and evaluate information critically. (librariesmatter.ALA.org/Additup)
Even if you don’t have time to look now at the research and statistics, stop and consider these points above.
Now, imagine substituting “parents and caregivers” wherever you see “schools” and “libraries”.
Consider – how can family members and caregivers increase impact in fostering these learning and reading environments? Does doing more with less for schools and less for libraries dictate that we (families and caregivers) become the resource that must increase to get these crucial pieces to add up? Educate to Innovate points to promotion of these literacy, educational and cultural values as key to future economic and cultural success.
How will we join in to support and maintain the services that are being reduced but that are elemental to our future success? How will we make it add up?
Watch the Educate to Innovate video and give it some thought.