Tenesia Sealey Professor Jan Rieman English 1103 January 31, 2011 I think I did well explaining how I learned to read and who taught me to read and write. I had a difficult time figuring out how to word the section about the adequacy of my sponsors and the access I had to different materials. I also have trouble with introductions and conclusions on my papers. I realized after peer review that I forgot an important piece of the prompt in my rough draft. In addition to tweeking my paper, I had to add that part too. Sponsors of Literacy, Sponsors of Life
Deborah Brandt defines sponsors as any agents, local or distant, concrete or abstract, who enable, support, teach, model, as well as recruit, regulate, suppress, or withhold literacy-and gain advantage by it in some way. I agree with her in that sponsors help you to reach a certain point. In my case, this essay is about sponsors who supported me in my strive for literacy, fluency in a given practice. When I think of a good example of someone who had many sponsors of literacy to help them become who they are, I think of Malcolm X. His essay about literacy and his sponsors meant a lot to me. Our circumstances for learning how to read and write were very different; however, the importance of being literate has had great impacts on both of our lives. Malcolm X was forced to teach himself how to read and write in prison, but he had help along the way with sponsors that came into his life. While he had sponsors such as Mr. Elijah
Muhammad and even the prisoners in the prison he was in, my sponsors were my parents combined with teachers who helped teach me what I know now. Although I had many more opportunities because of my parents who have been major supporters and sponsors of my achievements throughout my life, I already acknowledge how literacy will allow me to live a bountiful lifestyle. From the time I was a little girl my parents have drilled in me the importance of education. They have allowed me to live a life of fun and spontaneity, but not without encouraging me to do my best in school. They knew that in order for me to get ahead in this world I had to not only be up to date with my education but I had to excel in things that others did not. My father took it upon himself to make sure this happened. He taught me how to read and the basics of writing at a very young age, so when it was time for me to start school I was prepared. My dad would teach me skills during the mornings before school, even though it sometimes made me late for class. The teachers would complain about my tardiness but my parents ignored it because they knew they were doing what was best for me. There is no doubt in my mind that my parents were my first sponsors of literacy. They instilled in me their determination for me to go beyond expectations and achieve great things. Along with them, I had many other sponsors of literacy like all my English teachers, as well as other teachers that aided in my education. I have one teacher in particular that did a lot for me in high school, Ms. Newman, she was my english teacher freshman year but she continued to help me throughout my four years at North Brunswick. She looked over my papers whenever I asked her and made sure to give me feedback that I could use to my advantage. She proof read my essays scholarships at the end of my senior year and wrote recommendation letters
for me to get into college. Not only did she have something to do with how I performed in school but she also participated in how colleges and scholarship committees viewed my literacy. When asked whether my literacy sponsors provided me adequate access, the only logical answer is YES! My literacy sponsors have opened numerous doors for me, and my past experiences have offered me life-long benefits that most people take for granted. In this day and time, we do not realize how lucky we are to have so many resources and people to help us. After reading Sherman Alexie and Malcom Xs essays about their disadvantages when it came to what they had access to. I realized how lucky I was to have access to an abundance of learning aids. I have always had opportunities to purchase literature, go to the library, and use the computer. Growing up, my dad often took me to the bookstore to read and buy books that I was interested in. He always said that as long as I wanted to read he would buy me books. I think this has a lot to do with my progression in literacy. If these opportunities were not openly accessible to me growing up, my knowledge in these fields would not be as sufficient. My joy of reading grew with me as I got older. Now I enjoy reading whenever I find free time. I read at work, I read at the beach, I read at school and I read at home. Once a book captures my attention it is difficult for me to put it down. I am glad that my primary literacy sponsors, my parents, chose to teach me basic literacy in reading and writing; however, if I had the opportunity to become literate in a different skill I would probably choose to be musically literate. Being able to sing or play an instrument, both interest me and would be beneficial for broadening my overall literacy. Having a strong support group to aid in the development of ones literacy is important. The assistance that a person receives can make the difference between success and failure. I am thankful and lucky that I had the help of my parents and teachers to guide me through childhood and make sure I remained headed in the right direction. Without my parents willingness to
provide me with the best resources, I do not know if I would have achieved all the academic success during my educational career. Hopefully my desire for literacy will continue throughout my life so that I may continue to open doorways to lead me to be successful in my future career.
Brandt, Deborah. "Sponsors of Literacy." College Composition and Communication 49.2 (1998): 165-185. NCTE. 20 Jan. 2011.