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Oklahoma is overcoming its former outsider status

Oklahoman Modified: April 29, 2012 at 12:50 am •  Published: April 29, 2012
/articleid/3668783/1/pictures/1701602">Photo - Downtown Oklahoma City’s skyline is shown in February.  Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman Archives
Downtown Oklahoma City’s skyline is shown in February. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman Archives
We’re looking at our challenges, too. Challenges that pose a threat to our continued success. A threat that can destroy education and knowledge.

That threat is illiteracy in our communities.

This should be important to all Oklahomans.

Recent studies say that less than half of all adult Oklahomans are reading at an intermediate level. And only 9 percent read at a more advanced “proficient” level.

Nine out of 10 Oklahomans have trouble understanding health information.

This is a significant problem. And this year, Outlook will explore this, while showcasing Hinton’s classic novel and the students who study and love it.

One way OPUBCO Communications Group tackles the problem of illiteracy is through its long-standing Newspapers in Education program, which gets newspapers into classrooms and promotes literacy and comprehension of current events.

Keith Dinwiddie, seventh-grade English teacher at Westminster Middle School, quotes a friend when talking about the importance of literacy.

It’s all about storytelling, he says — being able to really understand the story of each other, and knowing where we all come from. That knowledge is priceless.

So is reading, and that’s why we decided to tackle this issue in this year’s Outlook. Read to your children. Read the paper to an elderly neighbor. Read a book to kids in the hospital.

Just keep reading.

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by Yvette Walker
Night News and Presentation Director
Yvette Walker is Director of Presentation and Custom Publishing at The Oklahoman. She supervises the look and feel of the paper, as well as coordinates content in several special sections and niche publications. Previously, she managed online...
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