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How to solve the Literacy Crisis in your Community

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According to a study released by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) in 2003, 14.5% of U.S. adults lack basic prose literacy skills, meaning that their literacy skills range from being …

According to a study released by the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) in 2003, 14.5% of U.S. adults lack basic prose literacy skills, meaning that their literacy skills range from being completely unable to read English to being able to understand only basic phrases and sentences. The same study found that 10% of the population of Allegheny County lack basic prose literacy skills. Other studies show that education level correlates strongly with annual salary, and that the cost of illiteracy to taxpayers every year is about $20 billion in reduced productivity.

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  • 1. Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council GPLCHOWHOW TO SOLVE THE LITERACY CRISIS IN YOUR COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY Y.
  • 2. HOW TO SOLVE THE THE LITERACY CRISIS IN YOUR COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY. According to a study released by the National about $20 billion in reduced productivity. Low-literate Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) in 2003, 14.5% Americans are unable to help young children with of U.S. adults lack basic prose literacy skills, meaning homework, fill out a job application, read a newspaper, that their literacy skills range from being completely or even understand a prescription label. The lack of unable to read English to being able to understand only literacy skills can negatively impact individuals’ lives basic phrases and sentences. The same study found as well as the lives of those around them. that 10% of the population of Allegheny County lack Fortunately, resources are already in place to help basic prose literacy skills. Other studies show that people gain the literacy skills they need to turn their education level correlates strongly with annual salary, lives and their families’ lives around. and that the cost of illiteracy to taxpayers every year is VOLUNTEERING & ASSISTING WITH LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS. ORGANIZATIONS. preparation classes offer a targeted approach for those who want to earn GED PREPARATION their diplomas.Many local organizations devoted toimproving literacy within communities A study released in 2009are non-profit and rely on the support and reported that 80.5% of ALTERNATIVE FORMS OFenthusiasm of volunteers and donors. high school students in COMMUNICATIONIf you want to contribute to literacy Pennsylvania successfullyefforts within your community, here are C ommunication changes as we use graduate on time, compared toa few of the ways you can get involved: different media to convey our message. the national average of 73.4%. Two particularly common forms of Although the state ranks 6th in LITERACY TUTORING the nation in terms of graduation rate, communication, telephone and email, are important for both everyday and Literacy tutoring is a broad category this still means that each year more than professional life, emphasizing accurate that may encompass many areas, ten thousand students in Pennsylvania listening and reading comprehension including basic adult literacy education, do not graduate from high school. skills in addition to speaking. GED preparation, and ESL (English as a However, GED preparation programs Knowing how to communicate clearly, second language) training. The focus offer adult learners the opportunity to expressively, and professionally of these programs will be to teach and reclaim lost schooling time and create over these devices is a major part of reinforce reading, writing, speaking, and new opportunities for themselves. some jobs. Also, it may take some math skills. The goals of students at Attaining a GED diploma enables people practice using these media to become this level will be quite varied. Some will to become more competitive in the job comfortable communicating because want to become better employees, be market, qualify for more positions, go you cannot see the other person to able to read to their children, learn a new to college, and even become eligible gauge reactions or physically express language after immigration, understand for certain c areer-related certification yourself. The sole reliance on the words medical instructions, and more. Some exams. For many, going back to school you choose to convey meaning can be literacy courses are taught one-on-one and earning the credentials they were particularly intimidating for people with and others in small classes. previously unable to get for whatever low language skills. reason is a goal in itself, and GED
  • 3. DONATION Not everyone has the time to volunteer as a tutor or teacher, but there are still ways that you can get involved. Aside from depending on volunteers, organizations that fight illiteracy also rely on grants and donations to keep their operations going. Many of these donations are tax-deductible. Not allTECHNOLOGY INSTRUCTION donations must necessarily be cash – some organizationsAlong with literacy skills, the ability to use computers may also accept real estate, bequests, used cars, and more.and basic software is critical for working in offices today. Registration for or participation in fundraising events heldOffice employees often must be able to type well, navigate throughout the year also provide opportunities for donorsthe Internet, and use the functions of Word, Excel, and to get involved in the organizations. Different organizationsPowerPoint. While higher software and web-based skills may have different donation suggestions, preferences, orvary by industry and employer, those basics remain a limitations, so check with your local organization beforecore requirement for much computerized work. Local making a donation.organizations often have computers available for peopleto practice with and train on if they do not have or cannotafford a computer in their own home. GREATER PITTSBURGH LITERACY COUNCIL (GPLC) GPLC is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping reading, writing, basic math, ESL, or GED preparation. adults and families improve their lives through literacy. Other volunteer positions focus on telephone It provides literacy education as well as basic job conversation, e-mail communication, refugee tutoring, preparation and computer skills training. As a provider of technology instruction, special events (Leaders for free education, GPLC relies on the efforts of community Literacy Luncheon or Trivia Bowl), and other fundraising volunteers in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas to events. For every dollar GPLC receives, 89 cents go help students succeed in their literacy goals. GPLC offers directly toward students, making it a wise investment for many opportunities to volunteers to become tutors for donating to a charity in Pittsburgh.
  • 4. Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council HOW HOW TO SOLVE THE LITERACY CRISIS IN YOUR COMMUNITY. COMMUNITY Y.If you would like to learn more about ourprograms or are interested in being a GPLC.ORGvolunteer in Pittsburgh or Allegheny Countywith GPLC, contact us at 412-393-7600 or FACEBOOK.COM/LITERACY.GPLCvisit our website.