September is Literacy Month. On September 8th, the world will mark the 48th annual International Literacy Day to remind us all that reading, writing, and basic math remain an elusive target for nearly 800 million adults around the globe, including nearly 20,000 here in the Chippewa Valley. Literacy Chippewa Valley (LCV), with offices in Eau Claire, Chippewa and Dunn counties, is part of a national network of organizations that work every minute of every day to end the adult literacy crisis.
According to ProLiteracy (www.proliteracy.org), the leading membership organization advancing the cause of adult literacy and basic education in the nation, more than 36 million adults in the U.S. lack the most basic literacy skills, and 15 percent of Americans without a diploma don’t have jobs. ProLiteracy provides more than 1,100 community-based literacy organizations, including Literacy Chippewa Valley, with tools to educate adult learners and help them meet the demands of today’s workforce.
“Here at home, in our own community, we know that nearly 5,000 people have less than a 9th grade education. There are another 5,000 adults that have more than a 9th grade education, but do not have a high school diploma,” said Elizabeth Hart, executive director of Literacy Chippewa Valley. “Literacy helps families be healthier and safer and provides people sustainable opportunities to support themselves through work, contributing ultimately to the economic growth of our community.”
“Low literacy costs the nation more than two hundred billion dollars each year in lost productivity, as well as an additional one to two billion in health and safety issues,” said Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “Every dollar spent on adult literacy and education provides returns to the country through higher employment, added tax revenues, reduced welfare payments, and less crime.”
In recognition of Literacy Month, Literacy Chippewa Valley will be serving dinner at the Community Table in Eau Claire on Tuesday, September 19th. For more information on how you can support, volunteer or receive free services in basic literacy skills, contact LCV at 715-834-0222 or visit our website at www.literacycv.org today. Now that the kids are back in school, it’s time to think about how you can improve your literacy skills as well.