Blossoming Bookworms: Gary Kapanowski and Adult Literacy

Gary Kapanowski was the first in his family to attend and graduate from a private high school. Gary Kapanowski was also the first to graduate from the University of Michigan. Once Gary Kapanowski earned his degree, he went on to become a respected figure in Detroit, Michigan’s competitive accounting world. Gary Kapanowski understands the importance of reading and education, and volunteers his time at Macomb Literacy Partners. Today, he shares some of the benefits of literacy.

Gary Kapanowski

Gary Kapanowski

Literacy Builds Independence

Adults who grew up illiterate often don’t learn to read because they’re ashamed or feel stupid, Gary Kapanowski says. Lack of literacy makes them dependent on others to complete most tasks. Illiteracy may also place the adult or someone else in danger. An adult who learns to read increases his or her independence. Literacy also builds confidence; an adult afraid to leave a familiar neighborhood can go out and enjoy new people and places more easily when he or she learns to read.

Literacy Opens Culture

With the advent of Kindles and Nooks, books are more accessible than ever. With accessible books comes access to a plethora of information on millions of subjects. According to Gary Kapanowski, illiterate adults often have unexplored interests or struggle to keep up with current cultural references. Once that adult learns to read, he or she can absorb any new information desired and form intelligent opinions on more subjects.

Literacy Inspires Others

People of all ages eschew reading because it’s difficult, especially adults, Gary Kapanowski says. When an illiterate adult becomes literate, it proves learning is possible. The accomplishment inspires others to challenge themselves and learn, too.

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