Exercise more, eat less, save money—sound familiar? According to USA.gov, these are some of the most frequently made New Year’s resolutions. They are all great things, but for some reason I’ve found that when I make the same resolutions year after year, I get complacent. It’s harder for me to follow through. This year, I’m going to make a different kind of resolution—one that has benefits not just for me, but for my community. This year, I’m going to be an EveryDay Learner.
So what is an EveryDay Learner? An EveryDay Learner is someone who is committed to making education (and especially reading) a priority in everyday life. Sound hard? Don’t worry, it’s easy to do. Taking trips to the library with friends once a week, reading to your kids every day, tutoring students in a local elementary school, starting a book club in your neighborhood—there are a million ways to make reading a priority. It doesn’t take a huge shift in routine or a big life change to be an EveryDay Learner.
Even though it’s easy to be an EveryDay Learner, the impact that it will have on the lives of community members is huge. Right now, about 20% of Utah County third graders aren’t reading on grade level. That means that those students are four to six times less likely to graduate from high school. And if students don’t graduate from high school, it is harder for them to find employment, make a living wage, and prepare for their future lives. But students who do read at grade level by third grade are four to six times more likely to succeed in school and in the workforce. The good news is, we can improve the odds for our kids.
By making reading a priority in our community, we can give our kids the support they need to read. We can read with them. We can get them books to read. We can show them how important literacy is. Without literacy, our lives are restricted by all the things we can’t understand. But with literacy, we have the chance to learn anything we want to learn. Opportunities expand when we can read. We can give our kids those opportunities by helping them read proficiently by third grade.
This year, why not make a new resolution? Join the movement and commit to make education a priority in our community. Together, we can change our future. We can resolve to make a difference.