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Improving the Literacy of America Through Our Classrooms Reading and writing are two of the most important functions performed on a daily basis by individuals One problem in America is that a significant amount of the population can not perform one or both of these tasks These two tasks are commonly referred to as literacy What encompasses a literate individual is a controversial topic For example if someone can read a sentence and decipher what it means does this mean the person is literate Or should the individual be able to interpret a sentence as well as write and respond to a given situation to be considered literate Due to this vagueness in what encompasses a literate individual I will not state statistical information about the state of literacy in the United States The statistical information is not important rather the way the literacy rate can be risen in the US is what is important A general situation that has to occur to raise literacy rate is the situation where an individual has the desire to read and write and does not do so solely because of instruction from authority figures This certainly is not occurring today as exemplified by the event that even a best-selling book in this country might reach 5 of the population Castell 38 Perhaps a better way to influence the literacy in America is to examine the classrooms where primary education geared toward literacy takes place This refers to elementary and middle school classrooms An examination of what processes in a classroom context help develop literacy in individuals is an important aspect of the literacy of the children in America Three aspects of a classroom that affect literacy are the power of the teacher community with peers and access to tools of literacy Power in this case refers to the power of the teacher and the extent to which this person expresses this power The teacher serves
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