Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A to Z: Unlimited Undertaking - Fighting Illiteracy


According to The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, 36 MILLION adults in the United States can't read better than an average 3rd grader. 

I wanted to get some numbers for today's post. So, as a ProLiteracy certified tutor, I went to  This is what I saw...

36 million American 
adults need literacy help. 
Only 3 million of them 
will be lucky enough to get it.

According to another site, Begin To Read


Forget the whole "Who's Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" 

I went to another site, NEA (National Education Association), and read this...
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a divison of the U.S. Department of Education1, children who are read to at home enjoy a substantial advantage over children who are not:
  • Twenty-six percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.
  • According to NCES2, only 53 percent of children ages three to five were read to daily by a family member (1999). Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read to aloud everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above poverty.
  • The substantial relationship between parent involvement for the school and reading comprehension levels of fourth-grade classrooms is obvious, according to the U.S. Department of Education.7 Where parent involvement is low, the classroom mean average (reading score) is 46 points below the national average. Where involvement is high, classrooms score 28 points above the national average - a gap of 74 points. Even after controlling for other attributes of communities, schools, principals, classes, and students, that might confound this relationship, the gap is 44 points.

1 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2000.
2 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, from
7U.S. Department of Education. 1996. Reading Literacy in the United States: Findings From the IEA Reading Literacy Study.


How can they be read to if so many adults can't read? It's no wonder that so many children struggle. And when the family below poverty level, that can't read well, has to decide between food or bills vs. some cute book for their child that they can't read to that child... it's no wonder so many children go to school and have NEVER had a book of their own. 

Now school is out for the summer. These kids with limited or no reading support at home will probably go the summer with no reading support at all. 
How can you get involved

Read to children. Join or form a reading program. Read aloud to children every chance you get. Libraries, schools, adult learning centers, churches, day cares... Find children (not in any creepy way) and volunteer your time. You don't have to be the greatest reader... Just read. 

Donate! Donations are down for literacy programs everywhere. Donate time, books, and money. It doesn't take much. It's amazing how every little bit helps. 

So, if you've seen me around, follow me on Twitter or Facebook or Google+... you may have seen my literacy projects. Yes, I want to make my books, but that's not the most important thing. I want to give books to those who don't have them... to children who need the support.

How many of you are "addicted" to books? How often do you spend $20, $30, $40 on a few books for yourself? How much farther could that go if 10, 20, 30 of you donated that amount to some literacy program or project?

It adds up fast.

If you don't have the money to donate, donate your time! Find a program near you. I guarantee they're there. I'm also sure that they need the help.

Today's blogs to check out....

  1. Literacy and Laughter - Great site! It's by a Kindergarten teacher and has a lot going on. 
  2. Edutopia - K-12 education under the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Lots of wonderful resources for reading and learning.
  3. First Book Blog - Brand new books to kids in need. Kind of what I want to do.

Also.... Don't forget to enter the giveaway....

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