In the Valencia Literacy Program, we provide FREE Volunteer Tutoring for adults in Basic Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESL), a Family Literacy Preschool for adults in ESL and High School Equivalency en Espaņol classes in El Cerro Mission, and volunteer BOOK Readers to read to children and free children’s books in low-income medical clinics in Valencia County.
Value of Literacy Instruction
UNESCO estimates that there are more than 774 million nonliterate adults in the world. It sees adult literacy as a basic human right and integral to the solutions for poverty, access to health care, educating children, and human rights abuses.
The National Assessment of Adult Literacy of 2003 indicates that 20% of Valencia County adults have “Below Basic” literacy skills. The National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) of 1992 also indicated that 50% read below the level required by most jobs today and 24.2% speak no or only very limited English.
According to one Economic Impact Analysis Project Report, for every dollar spent on Literacy, $33 is returned to the local economy (Kearney, 1999). Why?
· Low health literacy costs between $106 billion and $238 billion each year in the U.S. — 7 to 17 percent of all annual personal health care spending.
· Low literacy’s effects cost the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.