Literacy Information and Links

The ability to read is a prerequisite for success in all important areas of life. Yet illiteracy is tragically widespread, especially among the economically disadvantaged.
Reading together
  • The time from birth through age 8 is the most critical for acquiring the “building blocks” of literacy, yet an alarming number of children today enter school without the foundation they need to succeed.
  • Research shows that more often than not children of functionally illiterate adults share the legacy of their parents in terms of educational, economic and social limitations. The gap in their proficiency and earning power widens as the children grow up. Early intervention is crucially important.
  • Reading aloud to children has been called the singlemost important activity for their later reading skills. On average, the availability of appropriate books in disadvantaged homes, together with simple parental coaching and encouragement, raises the time devoted to reading by 50 percent.
  • The general lackluster progress in literacy in the United States in the past 10 years hides substantial improvement among the African-American adult demographic as well as overall gains in the general female population. Significant progress is achievable, with resources, effort, and commitment.
  • Poor literacy skills characterize society’s hopeless and disenfranchised. Two-thirds of school dropouts and convicts are in the lowest literacy skill brackets. Even if legitimately employed full time, most will spend their lives on the edge or below Federal poverty levels.
  • Literacy is a major asset for adapting to changes in work and everyday life. Illiterate adults lack a major coping skill and pay a terrible price in family instability, suffering, and lack of personal fulfillment.
  • Literacy rates for Hispanics are among the lowest in the U.S. and have worsened in the past decade, with increased numbers of non-English-speaking adults. ESL programs are enrolled to capacity. Tragically, far too many Hispanic adults remain unprepared for gainful employment when unprecedented opportunities for knowledge-based work are available.
  • Thinking critically and dealing logically with problems are major deficiencies in today’s non-professional workforce, according to employer surveys. Employers are seriously challenged to deal with this problem. Today’s state-of-the-art literacy programs actively foster thinking skills and problem-solving.
  • Workforce experts point to reading and thinking skills as key for the 21st century wage earner whose ability to adapt to change and embrace self improvement will be necessary for economic success and personal fulfillment.

Visit these sites for more information about literacy and literacy intervention:

Information about Literacy:

The Literacy Information and Communication System: Literacy Fact Sheets

National Research Council: Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children

Share Literacy Partner Sites with Additional Information:

First Book Facts on Literacy

Access Books on Literacy and the Crisis with School Libraries in California




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