Sunday, August 24, 2014

Literacy – Spanning the US: Detroit MI :: Solano Co CA :: Lafayette LA

Literacy:  Spanning the U.S.

Adults get help with literacy at Westland library
Hometown Life: 8.12.2014

Low literacy is a problem that increases the prevalence and economic impact of socioeconomic problems like poor health and poverty. There are more than 30 million adults in the United States today who aren’t able to read and write well enough to fill out job applications, understand information from a doctor, or read nutrition labels at the grocery store. Low literacy is a problem that is often passed from generation to generation – half of children born to illiterate parents grow up to be illiterate adults.

If you’re reading this article, it might not be challenging for you to perform routine tasks like reading a map, helping children with school work, writing checks, or reading a medication label. However, these tasks can feel insurmountable for adults who have low literacy skills.

Many of the adults who need help don’t look for it, or don’t know where to find it. Libraries are a natural center for literacy and often the first place people go when they are looking for help. If you know someone who needs help reading, come to the library and ask about our free Adult Literacy Program.  READ MORE !

Literacy program has far-reaching impacts
The Reporter, Opinion: 8.12.2014 by Lani Clarke,
Solano County supervising librarian

There is a small group of library employees whose work impacts your life in ways you are probably unaware of, but you won't find them behind a service desk at your local branch.

They staff Solano County Library's Literacy Services department, and they help many people with whom you interact with on a daily basis.

The library's literacy program supports those who want to improve their reading and writing skills, as well as those who wish to learn English as a second language. Sometimes a learner falls into both categories. You may not think their work affects you in the least, but I'll make book on the fact that it does. Here's why: About 36 million adult U.S. residents read at or below the third grade level. That number's so big that I'd like to put it in perspective for you: Roughly 38.3 million people call California home. Picture the vast majority of them unable to decipher anything in print more complicated than the type of book you read in primary school, and equally limited in expressing themselves through the written word. It's safe to say that if this were the case, California wouldn't be the eighth largest economy on the planet.

Of course, this barely literate segment of the U.S. population isn't confined to one state, but statistically speaking, at least 10 percent of residents in any given community either cannot read or can barely read. In Solano County, that translates to roughly 42,000 people. And that distressing figure is dwarfed by another: according to the National Center for Education's Adult Literacy Survey, almost half of the country's population has low literacy skillsREAD MORE !

Adult literacy program volunteers honored
KLFY News: 8.19.2014

Research has proven that there is a direct link between a community's literacy levels and its crime rate and that point was driven home today by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley.

Finley served as keynote speaker at a gathering Tuesday recognizing the contributions of volunteer tutors in the VITA program, or Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults, which is Acadiana's adult literacy program.

Finley told the group that thirty six million Americans are below the literacy rate, that's one in four Louisianans, and being unable to read and write means being unable to fully function as a community member.

"When you see literacy rates go up in a community, you see the crime rate go down, that's what the statistics prove, but it's so important for all Americans to be able to function at one hundred percent in our society, and the work they do here at VITA is vitally important to us at the U. S. Attorney's office, but also as community members " said Finley.  VIDEO

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