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Whitepaper: Literacy Crisis in Your Community

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 13% of the population of Allegheny County lack basic 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. Low-literate Americans are unable to help young children with homework, fill out a job application, read a newspaper, or even understand a prescription label. The lack of literacy skills can negatively impact individuals’ lives as well as the lives of those around them.

Fortunately, resources are already in place to help people gain the literacy skills they need to turn their lives and their families’ lives around.