Becky Says...

April 29, 2001

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North Carolina Comments

I am a North Carolinian by birth and by choice. I grew up in a small town near Charlotte, and now live not too far from Chapel Hill. I had a not-so-wonderful grade school education, and a very decent education in college.

I've seen comments recently that have struck a nerve with me, about literacy and education and North Carolina in general. Some were positive, some were negative, and one was just plain bizarre. Some of the comments included other parts of the South, but I will focus on the North Carolina I know and love in this, which is my answer to the comments.

In my lifetime, I have witnessed the rise in literacy levels in this state, and the rise in education. There are differences in the meanings of those two words. Is there still too much ignorance around? Yes. And that's sad. But the spread of the community college system in the state, along with community outreach efforts by the campuses of the University of North Carolina System, will continue to bring more and more ideas to the populace, and in ways the populace can swallow---a bit at the time, not huge, choking chunks.

Volunteer efforts in the communities have contributed more than anyone knows to the cause. So have efforts by local school systems. And let's not leave out the efforts by private colleges and universities. All these things help.

What won't help is lengthy commentary about what's wrong with the state, or with the South in general, unless a solution to whatever is suggested.

We are moving forward. Perhaps not as quickly as has happened elsewhere, but progress is being made. I celebrate that, and try to do at least a tiny bit toward spreading ideas. Please join me.

Text © copyright 2000-2001 Becky