Sunday, February 1, 2009

Little Progress on Adult Literacy

One in seven adults lacks the literacy skills required to read anything more complex than a children's book, a staggering statistic that has not improved in more than 10 years, according to a federal study released last week.

The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy surveyed more than 18,500 Americans ages 16 and older and found about 14 percent could not read, could not understand text written in English, or could comprehend only basic, simple text. This study's predecessor, 1992's National Adult Literacy Survey, also found that about 14 percent of the 24,000 adults interviewed lacked moderate or advanced literacy skills. Because the overall population of the United States has grown by about 23 million adults, the number of adults with low literacy skills has grown by 3.6 million since 1992. (more...)


Angie ^i^ said...

Ann, I know you're doing your part but evidently it just isn't enough. After reading the article, I agree that the literacy level of our future adults starts very young. Our education system MUST make sure ALL children can read. Parents need to be actively involved in teaching and ENCOURAGING their children to learn almost from the time of birth. Kids are like sponges, they just need the tools to flourish!

We as adults CAN do more. We can mentor a child, or even an adult. Together we can all make a difference.. we shouldn't have to rely on the few Angels, like yourself, who dedicates their life giving the gift of literacy!

Sue said...

Ann, you have to feel good about being a big part of the statistical drop for illiteracy in Alabama. That's wonderful work you're doing.
The article didn't address how they got their survey sample. I wonder how much of the illiteracy is due to English being a second language and how much is due to adults who grew up in America not getting an adequate education. I'd love to know that statistic.

I've been wanting to get into adult education for years, volunteering my time. Hearing about what you do prompted me last year to actively look for a place where I could tutor or teach, and there was none in the county except for the community college where they already had paid teachers and didn't need help. The local homeless shelter even turned me down. I was really surprised.