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LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette recognizes today as the start of March is Reading Month, a month devoted to celebrating the importance of literacy for all Americans.
Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics found that more than one in three American children enter kindergarten without the skills needed to learn how to read. On top of this, roughly one third of adults in major U.S. cities can’t read or write, according to the National Institute for Literacy. While our schools must make it their mission to end these statistics, the foundation for future success certainly begins in the home.
“America has long been described as the shining city on a hill,” said Schuette. “But if you can’t spell ‘opportunity’ and you can’t read the directions on a map, it’s not a path toward hope. With Detroit’s future and Michigan’s future on our backs, it is more important than ever that we make sure our students graduate with an ability to read and comprehend.”
While reading stimulates early brain development and builds key language, literacy and social skills, it enriches the mind in a far more powerful and limitless way- imagination. It is that kind of innovation that has fueled the Motor City’s comeback and that’s the thinking we need to shift Michigan’s gears forward for good.
“A good book is a chance to explore the world outside our window, on another planet, or under the ocean,” said Schuette. “It is a chance to learn about everything from law and politics, to assembling a bike, to how to build a laptop. Books can be a destination in and of themselves, and they can also be the burst of inspiration we all need to make a difference in the world around us.”
The goal of Michigan’s Attorney General is to make Michigan the safest and most prosperous state it can be. Studies show that increased literacy rates lower crime and recidivism in our neighborhoods. The ability to read also increases the likelihood of attaining a better paying job, and a more stable family life. Literacy is the one chance Michigan has for a better tomorrow.
At its core, reading provides hope. In our efforts this month and throughout the year, Schuette urges us each to commit to improving literacy- whether it’s in the home, classroom or office- in order to create a brighter future for Michigan’s next generation.