Unlocking Literacy

The literacy crisis is huge, but together we can solve it.

What if Houston became the most literate city in the nation? What if children with dyslexia were identified before they experienced reading failure? What if systems were designed in every public, charter, and private school to ensure a literacy safety net was in place for educators to get reading right the first time? These compelling questions underscore a problem that many may not be fully aware of: Houston, like our nation, is confronting a literacy crisis.

The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) provides a nationally consistent measure of our literacy progress. Despite abundant scientific knowledge on effective reading instruction, a staggering 68% of U.S. fourth graders are not proficient in reading. The challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022 have only worsened this decline, and the consequences are profound. As we prepare our children for a knowledge-based economy and an information age, their decoding and fluency skills must be strong to enable them to build knowledge effectively. Beyond childhood, digital, health, and financial literacy are vital skills. Failing to equip our children with these competencies will leave them ill-prepared to navigate the complex web of literacy in a world that continually evolves. We must recognize that we are all in this together – we either collectively swim toward literacy excellence or sink as a society, an unacceptable option.

Neuhaus Education Center invites you to “Unlocking Literacy: Houston, We Have a Solution!” sponsored by Gulf Coast Workforce Board – Workforce Solutions. Through a double feature film viewing and panel discussions, you will gain insights into our unwavering dedication to equipping educators and our clear vision to transform the lives of children and adults where literacy leads the way.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Jones Hall | University of St. Thomas
3910 Yoakum Blvd. | Houston, TX 77006

About the Films

The Truth About Reading
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CST)

Emmy® Award-winning Director, Nick Nanton directs this documentary feature film from DNA Films® in partnership with the John Corcoran Foundation™ that aims to change the conversation around literacy by highlighting illiteracy, sub-literacy, and learning disabilities, including dyslexia. View Trailer

The Right to Read
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CST)
Book signing with Ameer Baraka

Directed by Jenny Mackenzie. Executive produced by Levar Burton. The stories of an NAACP activist, a teacher, and two American families who fight to provide our youngest generation with the most foundational indicator of life-long success: the ability to read.
View Trailer

Book Signing with
Ameer Baraka

UNDIAGNOSED: The Ugly Side of Dyslexia
Born to humble beginnings in New Orleans, Ameer Baraka’s early life was as gloomy and as ill-fated as a young life could have been. In and out of the prison system as a kid for transgressions ranging from youthful indiscretions to major crimes, he was seemingly on a one-way trip to oblivion.

Almost illiterate when he went to prison, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and learned to read in his mid-twenties while behind bars.

His book, UNDIAGNOSED: The Ugly Side of Dyslexia promotes early detection of the learning disability in schools and awareness and support for prison inmates in the United States. Learn More

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