Why Literacy

LITERACY IS A FUNDAMENTAL SKILL THAT AFFECTS EVERY AREA OF A PERSON’S LIFE.

And it isn’t just about reading—literacy involves the ability to read, write, and speak in English, to compute and solve problems, and to have the skills needed to function on the job.
Our goal at Reading Connections has always been 100% literacy in Guilford County: a community with a competitive workforce, a successful school system, and a thriving citizenry. We seek to empower our students as they work towards their personal literacy goals, recognizing that gains in adult literacy also transform our community by reducing poverty, adding to the workforce, and creating new leaders for Guilford County.

Watch our video to learn more about literacy and how it affects all of us.

HERE’S WHAT MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY ARE SAYING ABOUT THE IMPACT OF LITERACY EDUCATION:

What Students Say:

“Reading Connections changed my life and helped me become more independent. I got a job. I learned how to drive and I got my driver’s license. I have my own car to drive to work. And I just got my green card.” –Tasneem, ESOL Student

READ MORE STUDENT STORIES

What Families Say:

“My children and I enjoyed the projects that we did together. The Family Literacy program served my children because they socialized with other children and because we learned more English together, and made friends, and many other things.” –Victoria

LEARN ABOUT OUR FAMILY LITERACY PROGRAM

What Employers Say:

“Literacy empowers people, giving them the fundamental tools to engage fully with society (including their own families) and fostering confidence and a sense of fulfillment. Having these attributes makes job candidates more attractive, more confident when on the job, and more likely to have upward mobility once they are a part of the HBD team.” –Bayard Collins, Vice President of HBD, Inc.

LEARN ABOUT OUR WORKPLACE LITERACY PROGRAMS

What Community Members Say:

“Literacy education opens doors to numerous vocational, financial and social options that help enable individuals to succeed.  Reading Connection is a critical key to unlocking those doors, and it does so in a manner that prepares individuals to thrive in their community.”

–Wendell Calhoun, Board Member

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PROGRAMS

Reading Connections students are committed to improving their literacy for a variety of purposes: to earn their GED, to obtain a better job, to become more involved in their children’s education, to develop their computer skills, to work towards becoming a US citizen, and more. Wherever their literacy journey takes them, we’re here to support them along the way.

Watch the video below to learn more about the transformative power of literacy in our students’ lives.

WHY SHOULD ADULT LITERACY MATTER TO OUR COMMUNITY?

Economic Growth

  • Every dollar invested in adult literacy yields $7.14 in return.
  • Each year the average level of education of a community’s adult population improves, per capita income increases by 6%.
  • The unemployment rate of individuals with a high school diploma is 1.5% lower than that among individuals without a high school diploma.

Reduced Poverty

  • 43% of adults with low literacy live in poverty.
  • A parent’s educational level is the chief indicator of whether or not a child will grow up in poverty.
  • An adult with a high school diploma earns 42% more than an adult without a high school diploma.

Improved Workforce

  • 80% of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. require some post-secondary education.
  • More than 40% of the U.S. workforce and more than 50% of high school graduates do not have required basic skills for employment.

Positive Health Outcomes

  • An excess of $232 billion a year in health care cost is linked to low adult literacy.
  • Literate adults have less difficulty understanding and using health information, making appropriate health decisions and reducing costs.

Increased Civic Engagement

  • About 50% of immigrants lack proficient English language skills needed to earn their citizenship.

For more facts about adult literacy, visit ProLiteracy’s website.