Literacyworks’ Founder Paul Heavenridge on the Purpose of the READ OUT campaign
America has a literacy problem.
Thirty-two million (1 in 6) of American adults cannot read above a 7th grade level, according to the U.S. Department of Education and 2013 PIACC* report.
The Institute for the Study of Adult Illiteracy states adults with low literacy skills costs society an estimated $240 billion each year in lost industrial productivity, unrealized tax revenues, welfare, crime, poverty and related social ills.
That’s why Literacyworks started the READ OUT CHALLENGE to support Family & Adult Literacy campaign. We’re reading out to inspire everyone to read. Make a video of yourself reading something – your favorite book, poem, lyric, a menu, anything with words – to someone you care about and challenge them to do the in support of family literacy.
Reading is an accrued skill. The more you read, the better you get at it.
Everyone benefits from an educated society. Students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest. Reading to children improves children's language skills and heighten their interest in books. The more frequently a parent reads to their children, the more likely the children are to show three or more skills associated with emerging literacy. And books at home are one of the top indicators ensuring a literate family.
The good news?
There are measurable benefits to being a proficient reader. They include: economic security, better access to health care, and the ability to actively participate in civic life.
Sponsored by Scholastic - READ OUT was created to inspire everyone to read. Make a video of yourself reading something – your favorite book, poem, lyric, a menu, anything with words – to someone you care about and challenge them to do the same and make a donation to Literacyworks in support of family literacy. Use the hashtag #ReadOut to upload your video to YouTube with, or stream something with Periscope and let us know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tweet us at @Litworksorg or like us on Facebook.
The READ OUT campaign will help support family and adult literacy programs in our libraries and in our communities to increase the number of families and adults they can serve. It will also help the Literacyworks Center provide learners long- term educational counseling and performance based scholarships to break persistent barriers such as transportation, childcare, and tuitions.