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Defining Literacy I have always been curious as to how individuals become literate This summer I began my questioning in a third world country Cuba who has between a 95 to 97 percent literacy rate It has amazed me that many individuals can comprehend this complex phenomenon and use it in life I feel that literacy is something that is taken advantage of by people imagine walking down the street and not being able to read the signs or receiving a letter in the mail these days an e-mail and not being able to read it how miserable These individuals who fit into this category are very susceptible to many disadvantages in the world I will start off with my experiences in Cuba and some of the things that I discovered while conducting numerous hours of research and also even more importantly talking with the people of Cuba At the very beginning of the revolution Fidel Castro launched a Literacy Revolution where the entire country would learn to read in a year Castro felt the only way to run a country was to have smart and healthy citizens and he did just that The year of 1961 was and still is known as the year of literacy or education Young students were taught how to teach the illiterate to read and write while they worked for the families they were staying with The brigadistas were the thousands volunteer teachers ranging between thirteen and nineteen years of age These volunteers were sent off all over the country to conquer illiteracy and in one year Cuba had indeed become a literate country Not only were the rulers happy with the result of their revolution but the people were as well I interviewed many individuals who were both for and against the government but one thing was unanimous throughout all they all appreciated the literacy revolution and some do not know where they would be if they
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