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Kristof - His Libraries, 12,000 So Far, Change Lives

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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 07:37 AM
Original message
Kristof - His Libraries, 12,000 So Far, Change Lives
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 07:38 AM by XanaDUer
SNIP- ONE of the legendary triumphs of philanthropy was Andrew Carnegies construction of more than 2,500 libraries around the world. Its renowned as a stimulus to learning that can never be matched except that, numerically, it has already been surpassed several times over by an American man youve probably never heard of.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/opinion/sunday/kristof-his-libraries-12000-so-far-change-lives.html
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. That's marvelous.
K&R Literacy is really a pre-requisite for escaping poverty. I'm glad Wood is doing this. :)
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I disagree to an extent..
I know people with far more money than I have who are far less literate, people who couldn't write a simple declarative sentence to save their lives and struggle to read road signs.



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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. chances are
those people fell into money and never had to lift themselves from poverty.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. People who grow up with wealth are seldom illiterate..
I'm talking about people who grew up lower middle class at best.

What it really takes to get out of poverty is a single minded focus on making money, that's what I see in the people I was referring to in my previous post.

Illiteracy by no means implies that someone is stupid, illiterate people often have very good memories, they have to because so much of what those of us who are literate take for granted (eg. road signs) are not available to them so they have to remember all these things.

I practically grew up in the library and it never did squat for me financially, I would argue the opposite now from the perspective I have today, I would have been far better off financially going out and just concentrating on making and accumulating money.



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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. But you have to admit, they are probably the exception
in that, most people who are not poor are literate. And I believe there are many studies that demonstrate education and literacy are essential for most people who want to better themselves materially.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. That's why I said "to an extent"..
Certainly on the whole literacy is a very good thing but it's by no means the sole determining factor.

I read posts from obviously erudite people here on DU who are dead broke, have lost their homes and the whole litany of financial grief.

For instance, if I was illiterate I'd more likely be out doing something actually productive rather than sitting here flapping my figurative gums on DU. ;)

Literacy is an attractive nuisance for some few people, it's easy to get caught up in words on a page or screen and ignore reality. This is particularly true for those who don't have people around them that share their interests (interests that are often fueled by.. wait for it.. literacy).



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Laluchacontinua Donating Member (277 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. and it's true globally as well. e.g. india is chock-a-block with very literate poor
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 01:48 PM by Laluchacontinua
people & has been for over a century at least.

literacy isn't a magic ticket out of poverty: there have to be jobs & growth.

when you see people like wood (microsoft) distributing books it means he's preparing the next low-wage production platform. which vietnam is already, actually.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. more from your link:
When Duyen was in seventh grade, she dropped out of school to help her family out. I thought education was not so necessary for girls, Duyen recalled.

Room to Reads outreach workers trekked to her home and cajoled the family to send her back to class. They paid her school fees, bought her school uniforms and offered to put her up in a dormitory so that she wouldnt have to commute two hours each way to school by boat and bicycle.

Now Duyen is back, a star in her class and aiming for the moon.

I would like to go to university, she confessed, shyly.

The cost per girl for this program is $250 annually. To provide perspective, Kim Kardashians wedding is said to have cost $10 million; that sum could have supported an additional 40,000 girls in Room to Read.

So many American efforts to influence foreign countries have misfired not least here in Vietnam a generation ago. We launch missiles, dispatch troops, rent foreign puppets and spend billions without accomplishing much. In contrast, schooling is cheap and revolutionary. The more money we spend on schools today, the less well have to spend on missiles tomorrow.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. So much truth & shame in these two sentences:
In contrast, schooling is cheap and revolutionary. The more money we spend on schools today, the less well have to spend on missiles tomorrow.

Profit rules.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
6. I've loved every library I've ever been in.
Edited on Sun Nov-06-11 09:48 AM by CrispyQ
It may sound silly to some, but they are mystical places, no matter how humble.

When I first moved to this little berg 20+ years ago, the library was a large room in the basement of the city building. It was cramped & garishly painted, but they had a kids corner & a decent selection of books for a small town. Several years ago we built a new library with fantastic views of the front range, reading areas & lots & lots of book racks that have been filling up over the years.

snip from article:

There are no books for kids in some languages, so we had to become a self-publisher, Wood explains. Were trying to find the Dr. Seuss of Cambodia. Room to Read has, so far, published 591 titles in languages including Khmer, Nepalese, Zulu, Lao, Xhosa, Chhattisgarhi, Tharu, Tsonga, Garhwali and Bundeli.


:) Thanks for this fantastic article!

on edit: How perfect! My library has his book & I'm going to check it out.

"Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children" by John Wood
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CurtEastPoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. Great book and a super man. n/t
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. A happy kick and rec.
It's nice to see a positive story once in a while.

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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-06-11 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thanks!nt
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