According to internationalliteracyday.org, 775 million people in the world are functionally illiterate. Likewise, a study conducted in late April of 2013 by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can't read.
That's 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can't read. **
This means that about a quarter of the adults in the United States can't read and write well enough to perform the duties of a job, or help their children with homework.
What can we do?
We need to do everything that we can to encourage students to learn to read and to make reading pleasurable for students.
Teachers work hard to create a literate environment for children. We have to go a step further and help create a love of reading outside the classroom. Try a few of the tips below to help your children become readers:
- Read to your children.
- Give books to your children as gifts. Let them know how important they are.
- Talk to your children. Not all literacy has to do with reading and writing. The more conversations you have with your children, the more words they learn and use on a regular basis.
- Tell stories. Like conversations, students will learn a lot about how words are used and how a story is told when they listen to someone tell a story. What a great way to pass on family history and share a few funny stories about your siblings!
- Go to the public library. It is a great resource for books, and libraries offer free programs that promote literacy. There are a couple of branches for the Lancaster County Library. Check them out by clicking on the link.
** "The U.S. Illiteracy Rate Hasn't Changed In 10 Years," http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/illiteracy-rate_n_3880355.html.