Friday, December 01, 2006

Google's Literacy Project

Shamelessly lifted from my friend over at Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy (which was sent to her by another friend):

Search-engine giant Google Inc. has unveiled a web site dedicated to literacy, pulling together its books, video, mapping, and blogging services to help teachers and educational organizations share reading resources. Google launched the site last month at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest gathering of publishing executives, in conjunction with the United Nations and a literacy campaign organized by fair officials. "Google's business was born out of a desire to help people find information," said Nikesh Arora, vice president of Google's European operations. "We hope this site will serve as a bridge to even greater communication and access to important information about literacy problems--and solutions." More than 1 billion people around the world over the age of 15 are considered illiterate, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. As part of the project, Google has asked literacy groups around the world to upload video segments explaining and demonstrating their successful teaching programs. The service also uses Google's mapping technology to help literacy organizations find each other, and it offers links to reading resources.
There really are many functionally illiterate adults even here in the U.S. Fifteen million of them do hold down jobs in our country, but how many aren't employable? They slip through the cracks of the public education system somehow and are left unprepared for life in the modern world.

Check out The Literacy Project. It is, however, a bit disconcerting that there is no little red exclamation point over Delaware indicating a literacy organization here. I took the liberty of contacting a Delaware library and was reassured that there is indeed an adult literacy program hosted by the Delaware libraries. I knew we used to have one so I was worried when I thought perhaps they had discontinued that program. If you are a Delawarean and are interested in volunteering to teach someone how to read, contact the Literacy Volunteers at 302-658-5624 to find out more. If you are not from Delaware, you can try the map first, or contact your local library to see how you can get started.

Just think, after you teach someone to read, you can take them over to a computer right there in the public library, get them connected to the 'net, and show them how to get to my site!


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