The first time I learned to read, write and speak English was in America. It was my first taste of literacy. Literacy is very important, I learned at an early age. I realized not knowing how to read and write was a big gap in my understanding of life. Having that one taste of literacy changed everything for me. I went from being uneducated to being educated within weeks. Being educated can be as small as listening to other people talk and taking in the words that are not familiar. Having a strong vocabulary can help you write poems, stories, fables, and etc.
For me, once I was able to read basic elementary books I was able to start writing some of my ideas and thoughts down. As I got older, I was able to develop my literacy skills even further which helped me become the creative person I am today.
I am a writer and have always been one. Being a writer is part of being literate. I can’t possibly imagine a life where I am not a writer. I’ve won several poetry contests. Those contests help prove how literacy had an effect on my life because when I first came to America I only spoke very little English.
I was born in Haiti. I lived there until I was eight years old. I did not have any formal education until I came to America. I believed that coming to America and having a taste of literacy saved my life.
I am not saying that I was dumb when I was illiterate. I am saying though that I wouldn’t be as far as I am today if I weren’t literate. Being literate has changed my life. I am able to accomplish so many things.
For example, I have won the GFWC New York Creative Writing Contest by placing 3rd Place in New York State. It shows how much being literate makes a difference. Also, I have won a couple honorable mention awards for my poetry which shows how far I have come and not let anything get in my way. In addition, I have written an entire book plus a short story. Being able to write isn’t something I just had a talent for. I read every day and still look up words in the dictionary. My sisters and I played school and we had to take ESL so we could further our literacy. By doing all of these things it helped me get further.
Before I was more into writing, I was a big reader. As a reader, I felt alive than I ever did. Not because the story was interesting but because I was able to read without feeling as though I was dumb or illiterate. Rumer Godden, a famous author, once said, “when you learn to read you will be born again…and you will never be quite so alone again.” I truly believe it’s true because when I first learned to read it was like another world just opened my eyes and it made me feel as though I am part of a different world where everyone is literate.
To conclude, I truly believe that having literacy at home really makes a difference. In other words, having a family and supports that will help you develop your reading and writing is important. In the end, I know that I am lucky for having such a great family for encouraging my literacy. Overall, I am really thankful that I had the resources that made it possible for me to be literate.