Dr. Sinclair Grey III: Challenging Our Younger Generation To Read, Write, and Think Critically

I have to admit that I like using social media. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, I find myself using these platforms to encourage, inspire, and promote ideas and concepts. Without a doubt, social media has taken over the lives of many people. They cant live without it. So many people are addicted to social media that its the first thing they check in the morning and the last thing done at night. Social media can be addictive, if one is unable to manage it properly.

Instagram is one of the newest crazes because it allows users to post several pictures of themselves and other things they deem important in their lives. Users are so quick to post and look at pictures and comments that the concept of reading, writing, and thinking critically is slipping away, and those who find themselves lacking at these skills may struggle in society.

No matter how fun or distracting social media can be, we must never forget the importance of reading and writing. Without having the skills to read, write, and think intelligently, an individual will face a harsh reality.

In a report that was published on PBS.org, the following was concluded:

– On average, African-American twelfth grade students read at the same level as White eighth grade students.

– The reading scores of African-American males in twelfth grade were significantly lower than those for men and women across every other racial and ethnic group.

– Only 14 percent of African-American eighth graders score at or above the proficient level. These results reveal that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read.

– The majority of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails are people of color, people with mental health issues and drug addiction, people with low levels of educational attainment, and people with a history of unemployment or underemployment.”

Anyone who cares about the progress of African-Americans should be outraged by these statistics. Something must be done. No longer can we wait and depend on others to do what we need to be doing ourselves.

Here are a few ways in which we can change the statistics:

  1. We must begin reading to our children at an early age. Through reading, children will gain an appreciation for knowledge
  1. Challenge our youth to think critically. No longer can we have them regurgitate what they memorize. We have to get them to ask questions and come up with solutions
  1. Encourage our youth to expand their mindset outside of school books. Have them read books, newspapers, and magazines from different fields of study. Unless people move from their comfort zone, they will never grow. In addition to this, it will be helpful for them to write out their thoughts on the subject they read.
  1. Become involved in educational institutions through volunteering (e.g. mentoring and outreach programs). Every teacher and school administrator must be held accountable for what they teach our children. Simply passing a child by shouldnt be acceptable

The concept of restoring reading, writing, and critical thinking must be done. Is it going to be easy? No, however, if we truly care about our youth (the next generation), we must do what it necessary to make them competent, complete, and marketable in this global economy.

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