FTRW 2011 – Day Seven – Saturday Snap – Pace writes his name for the first time!

This post has nothing to do with censorship but everything with the power of the written word.

Even though we’re a librarian and a public heath nurse with a special interest in early childhood development, I’d say we’ve been fairly typical in terms of guiding Pace’s literacy development – reading stories is part of our bedtime routine, we sing songs, we play with words (he loves knock knock jokes!), we recite the alphabet (he’s close but doesn’t quite know it from end to end yet.)

But I suspect someday soon he’ll surprise us and just blurt out the whole thing from A-Z, just as he surprised us the other day by saying “I have something to show you!” then bringing out his Magna Doodle from his room with the pictured letters on it.

If I’m honest, I’d say that working on actually writing letters was something we hadn’t really spent a lot of time on. We’d taught him to write a P but otherwise, drawing time tended to be shapes or scribbles (or dad drawing tanks and fighter jets) only.

I know he sees the word “Pace” all around – we have a custom bath towel with his name on it hanging in his room, an Italian Peace/Pace flag hanging there as well. I even bought a John Lennon poster for his room simply because it had the word “Peace” in various languages on it (including Italian – “Pace”).

Still, even though he sees those letters every day, it blew our minds when he showed us what he’d written. In terms of developmental milestones, learning to write your first word (yeah, I know technically he’s written “AECP”) pretty much unlocks everything that will come after for the rest of a life – from going to school to reading a newspaper to filling out a job application – writing is so core to everything we do.

Freedom to read, indeed! I hope you had a good week and spent some time thinking about the issues that are on the forefront of freedom of expression and censorship but also the lesser reported ones, those day-to-day triumphs that help keep that freedom alive.

I started this post by saying it didn’t really have anything to do with censorship (unlike all the other posts I’ve done during this and previous FTRWs.) But on second thought, it has everything to do with censorship.

When people are illiterate, for whatever reason – a failed school system, a lack of parental involvement, learning disabilities, living somewhere that the government or other powerful societal forces condone illiteracy – those people are effectively censored from being full citizens…to the detriment of us all.

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  1. From Head Tale - FTRW 2012 – Saturday Snap – Pace’s First Book on 03 Mar 2012 at 3:02 pm

    […] his name for the first time ever.  That led me to ruminate on what a major milestone this is and how illiteracy is another “big picture” form of censorship beyond the “banned books”-type issues that we usually think about during […]

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