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September is National Literacy Month. On September 8th, the world will mark the 47th 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 Volunteers – Chippewa Valley (LVCV), 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 (http://www.proliteracy.org/), the largest 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 organizations, including Literacy Volunteers – Chippewa Valley, with tools to help educate adult learners and help them meet the demands of today’s workforce.
“About one in six adults is still not literate, and approximately 67.4 million school-aged children are not enrolled in school,” said MaryJo VanGompel, executive director of LVCV. “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. 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 region and our country. Every dollar spent on literacy returns $33 to the community,” VanGompel said.
For more information on how you can receive free services in basic literacy skills, contact Literacy Volunteers at 715-834-0222 or visit their website at www.lvcv.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.