Literacy changes lives.
According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (2003), 39% of Americans lack functional literacy. This means that in the United States there are 93 million adults who are unable to achieve their potential. They don't read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at an eighth grade level or fill out a job application.
"Low literacy's price tag is hundreds of billions of dollars; both to support the normal acquisition of reading and certainly to deal with the consequences of reading failure." Dr. Grover Whitehurst, Director -- Institute of Education Sciences, Assistant Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education
Adult low literacy is connected to almost every U.S. socio-economic issue:
- More than 60% of all state and federal corrections inmates can barely read and write.
- Low health literacy costs between $106 billion and $238 billion each year in the U.S. -- 7-17% of all annual personal health care spending.
- Low literacy costs the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, social services, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.