If You Can Read This, Count Your Blessings

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If you are reading this editorial, you are one of the lucky ones.

At some point in your life, someone took the time to make sure you knew how to read.

A teacher or a parent taught you to recognize the letter, taught you to put the sounds together on the page to form words and sentences.

And, if you are reading this far into a newspaper, we would venture to guess that reading is something you enjoy and make time for in your life.

Not every child has an adult who reaches out to them. Not every child has a parent who reads to them.

There are students who make it through their entire school life -- faking it. Rim Country Literacy sees them all the time -- adults who were graduated from high school, but couldn't even read the words on their diplomas.

People fall through the cracks all the time.

For those of you who love to read, imagine your world without that ability -- that gift.

Books do more for us than provide a cozy, leisure-time activity.

Books transport us even when life does not allow us to travel very far.

Through fiction or nonfiction, we can visit other countries and we are offered an understanding of other cultures, religions and ways of seeing.

They allow us to hear other political points of view or to listen to people on the other side of the battlefield during a war.

Books provide us with perspective about our place in the world. We are potentially better people for them.

On Saturday, the National Education Association will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Read Across America.

One day a year, the organization encourages schools and libraries to host a reading celebration.

The Payson Public Library will host its "Dr. Seuss Reading Night" tonight. The library will be serving refreshments from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., Roundup publisher Richard Haddad will read Dr. Seuss stories to those in attendance.

And, in Pine, the cat from the "Cat in the Hat" will visit from 1 to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library.

This weekend, support these efforts to share the joy of reading with our youth.

Or, the next time you lose yourself in a book, be grateful someone took the time to make sure you could.

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