Literacy: just words?

April 6, 2009

Hi friends! This is Yashna, visiting guest blogger, and DLC fan for life. 

I got inspired to blog here today because a a blogger friend of mine told me about this very interesting blog called Capitol Words. 

This is from their About page:

“For every day Congress is in session, Capitol Words visualizes the most frequently used words in the Congressional Record, giving you an at-a-glance view of which issues lawmakers address on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Capitol Words lets you see what are the most popular words spoken by lawmakers on the House and Senate floor.” 

So, I searched for some of the words I care most about. I searched for farmworkers for my new job at the National Farm Worker Ministry (we support farmworkers as they organize for justice).  And of course, I searched for ABEliteracy, GEDESOL and ESL. You can search for only one word at a time so I couldn’t type in “adult literacy”. 

These movements that I care so much about, just boiled down to a few words in Congress, proves to be not so important to our leaders. Over the last two years these words were mentioned: 

ABE 46 times nationally (0 times in NC)
Literacy 405 times  (12 in NC)
GED 24 times (0 in NC)
ESOL 7 times (0 in NC)
ESL  13 times (0 in NC)

as compared to: 

Oil 8442 times

I believe this is an accurate reflection of how our congress views the importance of Literacy Education. So how do we change this? How do we bring not just the words, but the movement of Literacy Education to our chosen leaders? I am not sure of the answer. If you have any ideas, please share them here. 

Thanks again for doing the great work you do. To me, your effort is more then just words.

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