June 1, 2020

At the Heart of opportunity and justice for All: Courage

Although I’m not political by nature, I’ve been reading “Healing the Heart of Democracy. The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit,” by Parker J. Palmer.

At a time when our world seems filled with devastating news and the fight for social justice has spilled into the streets, one passage particularly spoke to me:

“In this book, the word heart reclaims its original meaning. ‘Heart’ comes from the Latin cor and points not merely to
our emotions but to the core of self, that center place where all of our ways of knowing converge—intellectual, emotional,
sensory, intuitive, imaginative, experiential, relational, and bodily, among others. The heart is where we integrate what
we know in our minds with what we know in our bones, the place where our knowledge can become more fully human.”

Even in the current whirl of uncertainties, at the core, many things remain the same. At Literacy How, children are at the heart of all we do. We believe EVERY child has the right to read. We know 95% can be taught to do so.

Our inborn ability to connect through language—speaking and listening—is central to taking on the cultural invention known as reading. And it’s why oral language is the core of our Reading Wheel. Evidence, through research, underpins our work to empower administrators, teachers, and parents.

Palmer continues,

“or is also the Latin root from which we get the word courage. When all that we understand of self and world comes
together in the center place called the heart, we are more likely to find the courage to act humanely on what we know.”

Adapting to new ways of teaching and learning takes courage—whether creating virtual classrooms, recognizing and advocating for your child’s—or every child’s— needs, or being open to how children learn to read or don’t. It also takes courage and commitment to talk about social justice and the inequities that underlie the achievement—opportunity—gap.  And most importantly, it takes courage to go beyond these discussions to enact the changes that are necessary so that every child can succeed.

As we strive to create a world worthy of every human spirit, literacy remains the language of opportunity.