This Friday, let’s get lit…erate!
Happy Friday, my book friends! Today is a special day because it marks the beginning of fall Quidditch, the Potterhead Running Club’s massive virtual race and charity event extravaganza.
I’ve written before about why I adore this online running, walking, moving community, and today I want to share a bit about the team I’m racing with this time around. First, because this event will consume my life for the next 10 days as I join fellow participants in getting in as many intentional walks and runs as possible. But second, the charity partner my team is racing for this year is a topic that is likely near and dear to every book lover’s heart–adult literacy.
Each team runs to raise money for their charity partner, one of the partners the club has raised money for with a virtual event earlier in the year. And this year, one of those partners is the Adult Literacy League. This organization serves as an adult education center in Central Florida, helping connect adults to education from basic literacy to GED tutoring and beyond.
As I learned during my time in AmeriCorps and through my pedagogy education in grad school, functional illiteracy impacts far more individuals than you might think and can have massive implications for someone’s ability to survive and thrive in society. UNESCO defines literacy as “the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”
If you think about your typical, average day in a life, consider all the times you have to read and interpret written information. Street signs, job applications, the labels on foods, signage in stores and workplaces. The list goes on. Not to mention the focus of this blog–books and reading for pleasure and for education!
As you can tell, adult literacy is a cause close to my heart. I believe that no one ages out of a right to learn and access to education, but adult illiteracy is often an overlooked area of need. Adult education centers like the Adult Literacy League, or my own former AmeriCorps site, Education Matters, help ensure that adults can access education and the chance to open up the opportunities greater literacy provides.
So, I’m honored and excited to lace up my shoes to raise money for the Adult Literacy League during Quidditch, which runs from noon EST on Friday, October 15th through noon EST on Monday, October 25th. Our teams will accrue miles to move along a virtual racecourse in Norway, earning points through various challenges to determine the amount donated to each of our respective charities.
If you feel so inclined, I would love to be able to raise some additional funds beyond my own race registration fees to support this organization, and you can donate to “sponsor” my miles here. I’ll try to match miles for dollars, but there is a 15 mile a day daily limit for our health and safety, so we’ll see how we go!
You could also do a Google search for adult education centers that are local to you and see how you can get involved as a donor or volunteer. Reading is such a joy and a gift to me, but it is also a basic requirement of the text-based world in which we live.