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Originally published: 2013-06-19 16:22:48
Last modified: 2013-06-19 16:23:32

Our View: Bookmark this weekend to help fight illiteracy

With schools closed for the next eight weeks, you might think that Watauga County has shelved its books for the summer.

But you'd be wrong.

Not only did High Country residents boost the Friends of Watauga County Public Library's bottom line by more than $8,000 during its recent 2013 Mall Book Sale -- meaning that thousands of books once regulated to boxes, closets and attics are now circulating in private libraries across the county -- but on tap this weekend is the High Country Festival of the Book, and soon to follow that, Watauga Reads 2013.

With such a literary summer ahead, you might also think that the word about the importance and enjoyment of reading has saturated our community.

But you'd be wrong, again.

If this were true, there would be no need for the nonprofit, volunteer organization Watauga Literacy Association.

Estimates indicate that there are approximately 4,000 nonreaders in our county -- people whose functional literary skills inhibit them from performing everyday activities, such as reading a prescription bottle or filling out an employment application.

Watauga Literacy Association is working to fight the illiteracy of our county, and you can help, too.If you know someone who struggles with reading or fails to see the enjoyment you find in the printed word, invite them to this weekend's event, and especially the actual book festival itself on Saturday at Watauga High School. Then, once the seed is sown, WLA can help.

A love of reading is contagious. Share it with someone this weekend.