Literacy Facts

Did you know…

In the United States, an estimated 30 million adults read no better than the average elementary school child.
In New York State, approximately one in five adults struggles with low literacy skills.
Thousands of individuals are unable to realize their potential as parents, employees, or community members.


not being able to read a street sign, order from a menu, write a check, read instructions on a medicine bottle, communicate with your doctor or write a note to your child’s teacher.

Adults Need Strong Literacy Skills To:

  • Raise children who succeed in school and life. Breaking the cycle of low literacy in families can decrease the dropout rate in high school.
  • Secure and maintain employment. American businesses lose billions of dollars in productivity annually as a result of low literacy.
  • Keep themselves and their families healthy. An ability to understand and follow medical advice dramatically decreases unnecessary medical expenses.
  • Avoid Crime and Substance Abuse. Studies show that negative feelings of self-worth contribute to increased substance abuse and crime.
  • Become more involved in their communities.
  • Advocate for themselves and avoid abuse.

The ability to read and write, to understand and be understood, are the roots of personal and
economic freedom.

“When I heard about your program I knew you could help me. I wasted no time. I picked up the phone to reach out to you and tell you my problem.”
Sophann, Learner