Thank you, David, for reminding us, in this touching piece on Precious, that attention is the currency of tangible pursuits and neither increases nor decreases the value of a life. Not an unfamiliar message to be sure, but one that routinely confounds most of us as we're pressed into sacrificial service of others. If we could just keep Precious in mind when our circumstances invite us into service, and suffer a little with those that are suffering a lot, I'm convinced we would find more of what we are actually looking for in all of our busyness here on earth.
Yes, harp3339, our definition of "success" has become pretty narrow...and, quite frankly, stands in the way of many attaining it.
Plainly (former Sessions Court Judge) Mike Carter's comment, "We can teach them to read and educate them or incarcerate them” is taking out of context. Although the literacy rate in prison is lower than a comparable segment of the population without a prison record, it is completely false to insinuate that if a child does not learn to read, he or she will go to prison. Reading difficulties do not make a person criminal, and Mike Carter knows that. There are many, many hard-working, responsible people in our community that have never been to prison and have learned to read as adults. Just ask programs like Re:start, Ahead, and Educational Opportunities. These are all awesome community efforts to help adults with their education goals (which frequently begin with basic reading skills). We should do everything we can to make sure that our children grow up to be literate, well-informed, ethical and involved adults. READ 20 is a part of that effort. The threat of incarceration is not.
This is the kind of sensible enhancement to our local criminal justice system that can really make a difference, improving public safety while keeping people with mental health concerns from getting inadvertently sucked into prison (where their circumstances get worse and worse and worse...ultimately making their return to the community a deferred disaster for everyone involved). My hat is off to the Crisis Intervention Team!