Literacy Facts

Illiteracy in the Community

Adult illiteracy is a critical issue that affects us all. These are our neighbors who do not have the skills for day-to-day tasks such as reading a bedtime story to a child, understanding the label on a medicine bottle, or completing a job application. Low literacy levels are strongly linked to poverty, crime, employee accidents, and school dropouts. When these things exist in our community, we all pay a price in some way.

A lot of people are unaware of the extent and effects of illiteracy in the United States, and Wayne County is no exception. This is partly because we attach a stigma to the preliterate and semiliterate, one that blames either the individual or the public school system for the persistence of illiteracy. Even though, in most cases, neither is to blame.

The work of Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) and John Gardner (developed theory of Multiple Intelligence) is showing that the learning process is so complex and develops so rapidly that it is extremely difficult to provide the most effective instruction at each stage of learning. In addition, all public schools must work within the constraints of a community-approved budget. Overall, public schools across the country are doing an unbelievably good job of developing appropriate curricula and approaches to better reach all students, and New York State is in the forefront of those efforts.

However, as we move from an industrial society into the Information Age, and from a national marketplace to an international one, the literacy demands on people in every demographic group have increased rapidly. Definitions of literacy have changed over time to keep pace with our country's needs and the needs of individuals.

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Adult Literacy Tutor Training

English as a second language ESL program in upstate new york.