Bayside Gazette 10031 Old Ocean City Blvd.
Berlin, MD 21811
Phone: 410-641-0039
Fax: 410-641-0085

Editorial

McGuffey deserves credit

6/8/17

With so many people spending their time looking down at the truncated messages on the screens of their smart phones and tapping abbreviated replies, it’s a wonder there’s anyone left who can produce a properly composed, appropriately punctuated sentence.

Whether they’re in a restaurant, walking on the street, in stores shopping or relaxing on the deck, people seem to be fascinated by this to and fro transmission of inconsequential chatter.

That could be a problem in a situation that requires conveying a serious message that involves detailed communication that others need to understand.

That’s also why the McGuffy Bookworm Club created by Worcester County Commission for Women is more important than the public recognizes — it entices children to read and through that teaches them the importance of comprehension in reading and communicating.

Although correct English involves more rules than anyone can remember and is constantly evolving, the ability to employ it gives literate individuals a great advantage in an increasingly competitive society.

Anyone who thinks that might be overstating the case isn’t aware of this: literacy statistics compiled in 2015 by Write Express Corporation found that two-thirds of U.S. students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.

In addition, those who struggle to understand or convey thoughts and ideas are at the mercy of skilled communicators who can deliver whatever message suits their purposes.

Learning to read, after all, is also learning to think for yourself and the McGuffey program is a first step in that process.

While commission members will not take much credit for it, it is a fact that reading scores in the county have increased over the 12 years of the program’s existence. The McGuffey Bookworm Club undoubtedly plays a role in that achievement.

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