May 29, 2019

On today's show, we visit the nonprofit Literacy is Fun Too and talk with Executive Director Terri Whitmire.  Later, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with one of our earlier Kid Heroes, Aryaman Khandelwal.

Illiteracy continues to be an inescapable problem in the U.S.  For those adults who struggle with reading, the impact is felt in a number of ways…from day to day communications to the food we eat to opportunities in the work force.

The illiteracy problem can be traced all the way back to the elementary and secondary school years. The lack of literacy skills during a child's early life translate to illiteracy rates later on.

Challenged readers are much more likely to drop out of school before they make it to graduation.  For those children who aren't successfully reading at grade level by the third grade, they are four times less likely to even finish high school.

High school graduation is a major milestone for teens but the sad fact is that many of these graduates struggle to read the words on their own diploma.  

Almost 20% of high school graduates haven't developed basic reading proficiency.  It is our own failing education system which just moves these students along, setting them up for years of struggle.  Three decades ago school districts and high schools started being graded based on their graduation rates and later even funding was tied to this “grading system”.  

The purpose of school is to educate but now we’re graduating students who cannot read or do simple math.  This is what happens when schools put statistics over students.  We’re just giving these kids a false sense of success.

This brings us to today’s highlighted charity, Literacy is Fun Too

Literacy is Fun Too (L.I.F.T.), a nonprofit literacy organization in Atlanta, provides creative opportunities and experiences designed to improve children’s writing, reading, and computer literacy skills at the primary and secondary levels, particularly for minority and disadvantaged students.  @LiteracyisFunToo

Their program re-engages kids and shows them how their creative gifts can be used in the real world. The vehicle we use to accomplish this is creative writing.  Their customized programs and writing coaches instill writing confidence in children with useful tools and easy-to-grasp concepts.  They do this in a fun and engaging learning environment through one-on-one coaching, workshops, interactive writing courses, and after school programs.

Bev had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Executive Director Terri Whitmire.

May is Water Safety Month.

Whether you live in a climate that's warm year-round or you mainly enjoy outdoor activities during the summer months, swimming and water are likely to be a big part of family fun.  Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 2. It's the second leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 6.

Keeping our children safe is a priority both inside and outside. Whether children are swimming at a home pool or in natural bodies of water, with friends or with family, water safety is always key.

Children love to play in and around water, but no matter where you find it – in a bucket, bowl, toilet, tub, sink, puddle, or pool – water is dangerous. And although you've probably heard this more than once, it's worth repeating: A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.
May is Water Safety Month
May is Water Safety Month

Aryaman Khandelwal is an 18-year old student at Parkland High School with a passion for making a positive change in those around him and in the world.  When Aryaman and his family visited Chikaldara, India in 2014, he witnessed people living in destitute conditions and children working to support their families. His perspective on the world was profoundly changed. @aryamankhawow

Upon returning to the United States, Aryaman created Get2Greater, a system that addresses the lack of healthcare and access to professional medical assistance in developing countries.  Aryaman is currently working on a proposal with the United Nations to expand Get2Greater worldwide.

Bruce Gale brings us an interview with our earlier Kid Hero, Aryaman Khandelwal.

Aryaman in India
Aryaman in India