I had the privilege to go a breakfast benefitting the work of the Adult Learning Center. This organization is a nonprofit organization which provides needed education and training programs to adults in the community. Dr. Mike Looney, the Superintendent of Williamson County Schools was the keynote speaker for the morning and he shared about the power education has on someone’s life. He spoke about his journey through education and how many people are not in the environment where education is a priority or achievable if they left school early. But through the dedication people have to reach out and work with those individuals who want to gain more education, education is possible for all! Dr. Looney’s speech was extremely powerful and truly inspiring.
After he spoke, Rita Dozier, the Executive Director of the Adult Learning Center, came and spoke about the mission of her organization. The power in which she instilled while talking about the ability education gives to people was captivating. She spoke about the proverb about teaching a man to fish rather than simply giving him a fish and sending him away. This ties into a quote from a book which I am reading:
“Social Entrepreneurs are not content to merely give a man a fish, or even teach him how two fish; these entrepreneurs won’t stop until they have revolutionized the entire fishing industry.”
~Forces for Good, Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant
Rita provides the ability for so many adults who are illiterate or do not have a high school diploma to pursue their dreams to obtain more education for their own lives but for their children as well. She said, “we need to equip people and provide the opportunity for education.” Simply providing them with a math booklet or a vocabulary list is not enough. It is through the act of teaching them to add, subtract, form sentences, and really learn than you begin to see the revelation in their eyes of finally understanding a concept. I could not agree more. At The Word Wagon we are dedicated to doing just that. Through our vision to change children’s lives one book at a time, we want to equip the children with books and provide the opportunity to read with volunteers one-on-one. For a child to receive a book at our READing Days they must read with us or listen to a couple of stories. We do not simply hand out the books and say, “go forth,” we want to engage their minds with the stories and characters within our books. Simply giving a book to a child helps get more books to children but sitting down and reading with them one-one-one provides the opportunity to change their lives.
With the Adult Learning Center helping adults to gain more education, it then becomes a ripple effect to the children we serve through our READing Days. If the parents or other family members in the home are reading and actively pursuing their education, they are creating an environment where children see education is a priority not an option and a life of learning is achievable. I am encouraged by the work the Adult Learning Center is doing and I cannot wait to learn more!
Tomorrow morning we will be at 1100 Lischey Ave in Nashville to read with incredible children from 8am-11am. We hope you will strongly consider joining us. If you are already coming, thank you and think about bringing a friend!
As always, #letskeepreading