Meet New Board Member Thom Cope
We’re pleased to announce the election of Thom Cope onto Literacy Connects’ Board of Directors. Thom is an attorney at Mesch Clark Rothschild. He has served on the Literacy Connects Awareness/Capacity committee for three years. He is passionate about education and understands full well the power of reading and the dearth of opportunity for those who cannot. As a German immigrant; he fully understands the value of language, as English is his second language.
Get to know Thom, below:
What does literacy mean to you?
It means that you will be able to communicate in an ever-changing world. Literacy opens up careers and relationships that you would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience. Literacy also opens the mind to new possibilities in many other significant ways in a person’s life.
Being able to read is one of the true skills needed to move forward in this world.
How has Literacy Connects helped you and/or your family?
I arrived in Canada from Germany in 1951. English is my second language and for all of my school years living at home, my parents insisted my brothers and I read at levels beyond our years. This ethic toward reading and literacy reinforced my desire to become an attorney. I have been fortunate to publish two books on Human Resources and the law.
Without the ability, training, and opportunity to achieve a high level of literacy, I would not be where I am today. This is regardless of the hard work it takes to be successful. No amount of hard work can overcome the lack of reading and writing ability in the world in which we live.
What’s your favorite book and why?
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: because it captures the essence of a turbulent time in our country’s history in an exciting and illuminating manner. The story has emotion, passion, and the dire consequences of the only war fought entirely on U.S. soil, where more Americans were killed than in any other war.
What’s one thing you want to tell emerging readers?
I would tell emerging readers that to begin the process is hard; but in the end the rewards of that hard work will pay off in ways they cannot even imagine at this stage. Further, I would say they must keep an open mind as to the benefits that they cannot yet see.
I would tell them about my experience of reading by flashlight in bed as a child after “lights out” at home, because I wanted to absorb more knowledge. And that anything is possible when they learn how to read.