Monday, April 28, 2014

Speaking at The Literacy Council

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of speaking at an event for The Literacy Council in Rockford, IL.  Several students had gathered, along with their tutors and families, to celebrate the completion of a new book project, called WRITE-ON! 2014.
Each participant received a certificate for their writing efforts, all were presented with a copy of the book, and several volunteered to read their submission.
So often we can neglect our reading, but here I met people who were determined to better their lives by becoming more proficient readers. The dedication of each tutor was evident as they watched their students participate and receive certificates.
I urge you to ensure that every child in your family, neighborhood, or circle of friends is reading up to his or her full potential. My adventures and mysteries will help to grab and keep their attention and interest. Their success in education, future career, and life are directly linked to their reading ability and the amount of reading they do. So let’s get our kids reading!
It was an honor to be invited to speak to such a special group of people.
The following information comes from The Literacy Council’s website:
People Helping People
About Us
The Literacy Council, founded in 1985, is a not for profit organization which offers services at no cost to clients.
Why Literacy and why provide instruction at no cost
Thousands of adults in our community hide behind guilt associated with illiteracy. Others cannot speak the English language. These are activities that the rest of us can take for granted like filling out job applications, understanding pill bottle labels and helping children with homework. These become a daily struggle for adults with low literacy skills. There is a direct link between low literacy skills and public assistance, which includes children living in poverty, and the increasing prison populations. Literacy is one of our greatest weapons in the ongoing struggle between a person succeeding or failing. Without literacy, uneducated adults struggle to reach their full potential as individuals, parents, employees and United States citizens. Help us raise awareness of this issue.
The cost of low literacy, per the National Institute for Literacy, advises "Adult illiteracy carries an estimated price tag of $225 Billion annually as a result of loss of income and tax revenue, unemployment or underemployment, incarceration, and supplemental training for entry-level jobs."
  1. Crime rates: 60% of U.S. inmates cannot read or write a letter. 75% of state prison inmates did not complete high school.
  2. Unemployment: Job searching and the ability to maintain a job demands literacy skills along with an increase in specialized vocabulary skills.
  3. Health Care: The inability to read medical documentation adds over $230 billion to the country's annual health costs.
There are over 44,000 people in our three county service area without a High School diploma or GED. Without that achievement, there are a low number of jobs available for them, and none of those jobs pay enough to sustain day to day living. It means an elevated crime rate, children starting school with low literacy skills, and more taxes going to support public assistance programs.
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