“To me, literacy is one of the most important things a young person can learn in this day and age. Not just how to interpret a text, or how to write long convoluted papers about a book, but rather, the subtle art of how to communicate your ideas. Being able to spell out what you’re thinking, to support your beliefs with solid evidence and logic, and to support those that agree with you, are all instrumental skills in being successful. Any job you can think of requires communication, and any person you ever meet will want to hear what you have to say. And, in order to get better at giving those thoughts, at telling people what you think, you first have to learn how this wild language known as English works. Why do we spell things the way we do? Why are some people looked at as amazing public speakers, compared to others? What makes this language so complex, and how can you manipulate it to convince people to support you? The search for the deep, complicated answers to all these questions, and what I enjoy learning about and teaching, is called literacy.” - by Gary Shteyman.
"If knowledge is power, then literacy is the highest level of mastery a student can attain, not only in academics but life in general. However, achieving literacy is more than simply comprehending a dry text and bubbling in questions about the story during a standardized exam. In fact, the beauty of teaching a student to become literate lies in the versatility of what they can accomplish with the foundation of reading and writing, whether they venture into spelling or debate. An endeavor that goes beyond rote memorization, spelling requires one to being able to comprehend how and why a word is spelled the way it is based on its language patterns and equips students to handle unfamiliar situations with aplomb. Truly, there's nothing more gratifying than watching a student successfully piece together the spelling of a word armed with just its language patterns, roots, and definition. Furthermore, learing to spell words and puzzle together their definitions arms students with the most significant skills afforded by literacy. Likewise, debate is another pillar of literacy that helps students to communicate their ideas using facts and logic, keeping themselves grounded even if they are in a heated discussion about a topic they advocating for in the academic or professional world. In essence, literacy is the light that only enables students to navigate the labyrinth that is language, but pave their own path by applying these invaluable skills in real life." - by Elizabeth Shvarts.