Kindling the Desire to Learn

     The literacy and study skills upon which Applied Scholastics and the World Literacy Crusade focus constitute the basis not only of future academic performance, but also of a student’s attitude toward education and his passion for learning, or lack of it. By bringing it to children and youths, these programs are salvaging lives.

     One young man who grew up in Los Angeles became, as he expressed it, “a little too involved” with a gang and was shot on the street. He credits Applied Scholastics’ methods with enabling him to return to school and to give up gang life. Study technology, he said, “makes you feel good about what you learn. It makes you want to learn.”

     Another teen, Joseph, had a second grade reading level when he started at Applied Scholastics. He heard about it from former gang members who had done the program and told him that it could help him. Joseph had been in a gang since his early teens, had been arrested for grand theft auto, sentenced to Juvenile Hall for three months and then placed on probation until the age of 18. Nothing in his future looked bright.

     After Applied Scholastics unlocked the door to study, he left his gang, went on to graduate high school and today has a job. “If it wasn’t for Applied Scholastics,” he said, “I’d be six feet under.”

     Another young man, John, was 20 years old but illiterate. He lived at home with his mother, but frequently flew into rages and got into fights. In one particularly destructive rampage, he smashed his mother’s television set, refrigerator, couch and virtually every other piece of furniture she had.

     His mother called Applied Scholastics, telling them that she planned to obtain a restraining order because she had become so frightened by her son’s violence. After Applied Scholastics had her bring her son in, he admitted that he had a strong urge to fight and not just to beat people, but to destroy them.

     In the course of completing a study program at Applied Scholastics, his life turned around. As he put it, learning how to learn unlocked the door of opportunity for him, giving him hope for achieving something with his life and providing a chance for a brighter future. Today he is not only no longer violent—he is a successful computer robotics operator, very satisfied with his job and life.


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