Monday, February 25, 2008

The Impact of Low Literacy

Literacy Services of Indian River County has an informative page of statistics showing the impact of low -level literacy in adults. While I encourage you to check out the full page , I thought I would post some of the most glaring points.

-43% of adults at the lowest level of literacy proficiency live in poverty.

-Among adults with strong literacy skills, only 4% live in poverty.

-A study on literacy (included in the Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Vol. 2 edited by Susan Neuman and David Dickinson) shows that while in middle income neighborhoods the ratio of books per child is 13 to 1, in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is 1 age-appropriate book for every 300 children.

-70% of mothers on welfare have reading skills in the lowest two proficiency levels
(this is particularly alarming considering that a mother's literacy level is one of the
most significant predictors of a child's future literacy ability).

-U.S. Department of Education figures show that “75% of prison inmates and 85% of juveniles in correctional facilities are functionally illiterate” (this compares to 47% of all adults in the U.S. who are functionally illiterate).

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