July 30, 2010

Bursting your Bubble!

Welcome to our blog! I am very excited to get a conversation going about everything literacy-related that has an impact on our community. To get things started today, I wanted to share with you a few facts and figures about literacy needs in Central Texas and perhaps burst that bubble that most of us have been living in. 

We know that...
  • 147,180 adults 18 years and older in Central Texas struggle with English language.
  • The young non-English speaking population is growing.
  • 45,477 students in the five Central Texas county schools do not speak English in their homes.
  • Of the 164,452 adults needing GED, 121,074 of them do not have the minimum literacy skills necessary to enroll in a GED preparation class.

Why should we care?
  • Adults with the lowest level of literacy skills earn approximately $240 per week, compared with $681 for those with the highest level of literacy skills.
  • Adults with lower literacy skills are less likely to read to their children. These children are 3-4 times more likely to drop out of school in the long run since they are at risk for not developing basic literacy skills before they enter school.
  • A mother's literacy level is one of the most significant predictors of child's future success in school. 70% of mothers receiving pubic assistance have literacy skills in the lowest proficiency levels.
  • Children of adults who participate in literacy programs improve their grades and test scores, improve their reading skills, and are less likely to drop out of school.
  • In 2003, 43% of adults with the lowest reading skills were living in poverty, compared to only 4% of those with the highest level of skill.

What can you do? 

Meg already gave you some great ways to get started on addressing this need in our community in her post below. However, be on the lookout for some additional and more specific ways to help out and get involved from Jen and Carly! In the meantime, I am curious to hear what ideas or solutions you all have in mind to address the increasing literacy needs in our community. Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

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