Written words have power, as anyone who has been enlightened, encouraged or moved by a book or story can tell.
Written words spark the imagination, expand the mind, deliver knowledge and evoke feelings in ways that can last a lifetime.
They do all this and more — but only if you can read them.
Everything you always hear about books is true, says Mark Willes, president and CEO of Deseret Management Corp. "They open the world. They provide insight. Reading is essential."
Even more essential, he says, is that kids learn to read at a young age. "Research shows that if kids don't learn to read at grade level by the third grade, they will never catch up."
And that has tragic consequences not only for them, but for everyone. "Kids who can't read obviously can't study other subjects. But study after study show that those who grow up not being able to read are less likely to get a good job. They are more likely to go on drugs. They are more likely to go on welfare. They are more likely to go to prison. The imperative to help kids learn to read is real."