Scunthorpe man learns to read at write at 54
AS WE reveal North Lincolnshire Council's £1 million plan to get all under-5s reading, today we also report on the extent of adult literacy problems in the area.
In a world full of fast-moving technology and internet innovation, the one thing most of us take for granted is being able to read.
But staggeringly in North Lincolnshire, adult literacy is worse than the national average with 17,261 adults in 2011 having literacy skills no better than an 11-year-old.
And of them, 5,420 had literacy skills no different to a child aged 5-7.
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What hurdles does that present those people in prospering as adults in this interactive age?
Abdul Rockhim knows all about living his life avoiding difficult situations that might involve reading or writing.
His coping technique was to talk his way out of things but that made him appear nervous around people.
At the age of 54, he had had enough and took decisive action to change his life for the better.
He started a course in Scunthorpe last year and has now achieved his BTEC Level 1 and 2 in English and maths, as well as a BTEC Level 2 in customer service.
Well done – a fantastic example of what can be achieved and a strong endorsement of the saying "it's never too late to learn".
Learning, of course, should start at home and then carry on in school throughout your childhood.
We all know though that not every child is that lucky. For whatever reason, some fall by the wayside.
The council's commitment to the reading scheme pioneered by US country music star Dolly Parton is a clear indication of the importance it places in getting children reading.
It will mean that all under-5s have access to free books – and access to the opportunity to learn to read.
If it means that adult literacy worries are massively reduced in the next generation, then that will be a news story worth reading about.