Our education system is broken. We’ve become a society that ships our kids off to school and leaves the education up to the teachers. While the teachers do as good a job as can be expected, they aren’t the one-stop solution to educating our children. We need more than schools and teachers. We need to all be participants in education for our communities and our country to succeed.

In early 2008, I began working with the National Center for Family Literacy when they became a client of my former agency, Doe-Anderson. We helped formulate their early social media efforts and spearheaded a handful of digital strategies to help the organization move forward. (They’re still a client of Doe-Anderson, who continues to do excellent work.)

When my relationship with Doe ended last summer, my client-partner relationship with NCFL had to as well. But the cause remained close to my heart and I was happy to volunteer some time and energy for NCFL. Two months ago, with contractual obligations to my former employer fulfilled, NCFL Executive Director Sharon Darling asked me to serve on her organization’s Board of Directors. I quickly accepted. NCFL has a cause close to my heart, I love what they do and they take my advice.

And NCFL doesn’t just teach people to read. Family Literacy is about multi-generational issues. It’s about adult literacy, forming strong homes and families to build foundations for literacy in our children. It’s about functional literacy, like being able to read maps, balance one’s check book and use a computer. It’s about immigrant populations learning not just a new language, but a culture and world of opportunity blockaded without the wherewithal to navigate the business world.

What I’ve learned working with NCFL is that literacy, in its broad definition and across generations, is the most important societal woe we’ll ever face. Without literacy, none of our jobs have value. With it, all other societal woes can be attacked, even defeated.

Today, the NCFL, an organization that has helped tackle the issue of family literacy for almost three decades, launches a fresh take on family literacy. With more than 33 percent of all U.S. 4th graders not reading, we needed to step up and do something to reinvigorate parents and children around learning.

Today, parents can help nurture a brighter world for their children through discovery, creativity, learning and imagination. They can take them to a place of wonder.

Wonderopolis - Learning Resources for Parents and ChildrenToday, parents can take their children to Wonderopolis.

Educational success comes from the love of learning. Wonderopolis stokes the fires of learning every day and in ways that relate to everyday life. It’s not just a website, it’s a movement. The learning there is big, for you and your child. See for yourself at Wonderopolis.org.

You can connect to Wonderopolis through Twitter and Facebook as well. There you will receive a Wonder of the Day — a fun learning nugget that will spark your child’s interest in learning … and probably your own, too.

Every day.

This is the beginning of what I hope becomes the ultimate case study. There’s credit to be given, but we’re beginning. Let’s slap each other on the back when it proves out. Suffice to say, I’m excited about NCFL and what Wonderopolis can do for the literacy standard in this country and even the world.

And I wanted to share. Thank you for the indulgence.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Vince DeGeorge

    Hey Jason, great cause – there are staggering literacy issues (and education in general) in our country. These need to be tackled now or we face a very troubled future. I'm trying hard to resist some political jokes, but this is a very serious issue. Thanks for bringing this site to my attention and championing this issue.

    Note: The website link works, but appears to be password protected? This may be temporary due to maintenance, but I thought I would point it out with the traffic that you'll be sending their way today.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Vince. I'm sure the passwordedness will go away soon. They must have

      had a launch issue. Should have been live at 2 a.m. ET. Thanks for the

      patience.

  • http://rt-now.com Ruthless25

    cool looking site.

  • http://online-debt-relief.com Adis Ramic

    The other day I was listening to a report about Americans going over to India for higher education, especially tech industry. I have lived in Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Turkey and Germany, now in USA and I am very sad to notice that general world understanding and education in USA is truly broken. Just look at latest statistics on drop out rates and basic reading and math levels.

    While many universities in the USA are best in the world – they are unreachable for vast majority of the population who are stuck with severely damaged public education system.

    On a social note – that might just be in the interest of few – but certainly not for the society as whole.

    Aside from financial burdens, I also see the mass media and general attitude towards education as faulty. People here are simply to preoccupied with gossip, clothing trends, sports and other diversions. Girls here want to grow up to be on a sit com or be Britney Spears – but girls in India, China, Europe want to be doctors.

    just my 2 cents

  • http://nextcommunications.blogspot.com/ Vedo

    Jason: This is fantastic. I appreciate seeing solutions (big and small) to our education issues. It will be great to follow the progress of this fledgling project for NCFL. Also the dad side of me is always on the look-out for engaging opportunities to share with my kids. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      You're more than welcome, RV. Let us know what you think!

  • Macystevens33

    Literacy is critical. Check this sentence: a fun learning nugget that will spark your child’s interest in learning … and probably you’re own, too.

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Proves the point. Fixed. Thanks.

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  • http://twitter.com/GreatStockPicks Adis Ramic

    While many universities in the USA are best in the world – they are unreachable for vast majority of the population who are stuck with severely damaged public education system.

    On a social note – that might just be in the interest of few – but certainly not for the society as whole.

    Aside from financial burdens, I also see the mass media and general attitude towards education as faulty.

  • http://twitter.com/Machining_RFQs Machining Partners

    The website link works, but appears to be password protected? This may be temporary due to maintenance.

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