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Our Mission Statement: Our Literacy Council serves to empower individuals in our communities by advancing literacy in all its forms

Our Literacy Council has been a quiet presence in Lewis County since the 1970’s. Our volunteer tutors have assisted new arrivals to this country learning English and preparing for citizenship. OLC has assisted adults earning their GED certificates and provided scholarship funding for GED testing.

There is much more to do. Literacy is a major issue; not just in Lewis County, but all over the world. Literacy problems in the US are very much related to jobs and economic development:

    • During the recession that began in 2008,
      5.6 million jobs were lost to those with a high school diploma or less.
      Only 1.8 million were lost to those with some college, and
      only 200,000 to those with at least a bachelor’s degree.
    • School dropouts cost the US at least $240 billion each year in social service expenses and lost tax revenue due to unemployment. That’s $745.34 for every man, woman and child in the country!
    • It all starts with reading. Fully half of unemployed Americans cannot read well enough to be considered functionally literate.

Current unemployment numbers show 14.6% unemployment among those with no GED or HSD, less than 4% among those with a college degree.

Sources:

Literacy Project Foundation -Statistics (http://literacyprojectfoundation.org/community/statistics)

The Economic Policy Institute: “A Well-Educated Workforce is Key to State Prosperity,” Noah Berger and Peter Fisher, August 22, 2013

The Houston Chronicle: “Literacy is Key to Unlocking Poverty,” Irina Bokova and Laura Bush, Sept. 7, 2012