Literacy Buzz

Friday, June 4, 2010

To Be or Not to Be Literate? What does it all mean?

Let us look at the facts, facts that we have possibly read or heard before:


  • The U.S. Census Bureau reports that “adults 18 and older with a master’s, professional or doctoral degree earned an average of $79,946, while those with less than a high school diploma earned about $19,915.” Adults with a “bachelor’s degree earned an average of $54,689 in 2005 while those with a high school diploma earned $29,448.” (Census Bureau, 2007)
  • One in three adults cannot read this sentence.(National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)
  • Low health literacy was the top predictor of mortality after smoking, also surpassing income and years of education, the study showed. Most of the difference in mortality among people with inadequate literacy was due to higher rates of death from cardiovascular disease.” (Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, 2007)
  • 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. (National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 2003)
  • Today one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women while 75 million children are out of school. Since its founding in 1946, UNESCO has been at the forefront of global literacy efforts and is dedicated to keeping literacy high on national, regional and international agendas. However, with some 776 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all remains an elusive target.
  • Literacy programs in Texas are only serving 3.6% of the 3.8 million in need of adult basic education services. (Texas LEARNS, April 2005)


How do we foster within society a need for education/literacy?  How do fund remediation programs for families? We have the facts, we see the manifestation of the facts daily in reports about an aging society that lacks basic skills. Is there a solution?  Yes!  Advocacy.  We must become advocates for Education - for Literacy;  the power of self-sufficiency, the garden of opportunities yet to be grown within communities, literacy changes lives and inspires communities.


First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

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