Before the new school year started, local nonprofit organizations Read To Succeed, Olive Branch Church, Linebaugh Library and United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties joined together to celebrate literacy.
Residents march Aug. 4, 2012, from Central Magnet School to Civic Plaza during the first annual Literacy Day, held to foster reading in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
On Saturday, Rutherford County celebrated its first Literacy Day, aimed at raising awareness of this important issue that effects the community on several levels.
Literacy enthusiasts joined in a march that began at Central Magnet School and ended at the Civic Plaza in Murfreesboro.
There, community resources for improving literacy were on hand to discuss available services, and guest speakers addressed the many ways in which literacy intertwines with the overall strength of our community.
In Rutherford County, 44 percent of adults read at or below the average third grade level. Ten percent read at or below the first grade level.
Thirteen percent do not have a high school diploma, and more than 12 percent live below the poverty level.
Literacy is vitally important to the community. It directly affects the economy, the community’s educational attainment, and the health of society.
Literacy Day is an opportunity to raise awareness that improving literacy improves all aspects of American lives and makes Rutherford Count a stronger community, Read To Succeed Executive Director Lisa Mitchell said.
Olive Branch Church Pastor Vincent Windrow said that improving literacy rates is a community effort.
“Achieving higher rates of literacy is everyone’s responsibility,” Windrow said. “This year’s Literacy Day is an introduction to how each of us can become more involved in the promotion of literacy. A more literate community is a more attractive community to potential employers, a safer community for its residents, and a more enlightened place to call home.”