Why do I need to learn to read?

Every year, teachers across the country come across a student who will say something like this. “When I grow up I will never read a book. I hate books. I hate reading. When I graduate I will never read again, so why do I need to learn to read?”

Here is a letter that you may want to give to those students.

Dear student,

Okay, that’s your decision to never pick up a book and read it again, but I’d like to remind you of these things you might want to do.

Driving a car legally requires some reading. In order to legally drive a car, you must read and pass a written test that is based on a driving book that you will need to read to learn the rules. When you hit the highway, you’ll need to be able to read the signs in a split second because you’re driving 75 miles per hour when you pass them. And what about those exciting bumper stickers that everyone likes to read because they make you laugh on the road? Those are also a must read.

If you’re going on a trip, you’ll need to read a map, an atlas, or even a language dictionary. And if you decide to fly or travel by other means of transportation, you’ll need to read the timetables, tickets, and safety instructions. Visit a travel agency and you’ll need to be able to read a brochure about the many exciting places you want to go.

Even to go buy food at a restaurant, you will need to know how to read. If you ever want to eat at a restaurant, you’ll need to be able to read the menu found even at a drive-thru.

Buy something on time and you need to be able to read a contract. To buy a car, house, or any big item, you’ll need to be able to read the contract before you sign it so you don’t end up with 24% interest or some weird clause that hurts your chances of owning something.

Getting a job will require you to read the ad in the newspaper and then the application that you will fill out when you apply for the job.

Newspapers, magazines, Oh, you say you only look at the comic section. Those are also a must read. Magazines have photos but they also have descriptions of what is happening in the photo.

Going to the doctor requires reading. For starters, you’ll need to read the doctor directory when you enter the building to find the doctor. How about the recipe he gives you and tells you to follow the directions on the bottle? These will also need to be read. Go to the emergency room and they make you sign some papers that you better read and when you leave they give you written instructions on what you have to do to take care of yourself.

I haven’t even begun to cover what you’ll need to read when you graduate after high school. The list includes emails, billboards, newsletters, catalogues, charts, circulars, clues, epitaphs, flyers, formulas, graffiti, welcome cars, manuals, horoscopes, instructions, invitations, journals, labels, letters, lists, manuals, maps , canopies, memos, notes, obituaries, pamphlets, portfolios, postcards, posters, programs, questionnaires, receipts, recipes, scripts, signs, airwriting, extracts, and telegrams.

If that list isn’t good enough, these last two should be the icing on the cake. You’ll need to be able to read if you find his sister’s or brother’s diary, and when a wealthy relative dies, you’ll want to be able to read his will.

So the students realize that they may never read another book, but that’s not the only thing we read while living on this earth. So learn to read while you’re young and it will make your life so much easier.


from someone who knows

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