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  • Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70 percent of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.

  • 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read.

  • As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less well educated than the previous.

  • Literacy is a learned skill. Illiteracy is passed down from parents who can neither read nor write.

Reading Sign
  • Nearly 85 percent of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. More than 60 percent of all inmates are functionally illiterate.

  • 53 percent of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally “almost every day,” while only 20 percent of 8th graders could say the same. (2009 study)

  • 75 percent of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90 percent of high school dropouts are on welfare.

  • Teenage girls ages 16 to 19 who live at or below the poverty level and have below average literacy skills are 6 times more likely to have children out of wedlock than the girls their age who can read proficiently.

  • Reports show that low literacy directly costs the healthcare industry over $70 million every year.

  • 30% of Columbia County's population falls within the lowest literacy level


  • 4000+ of our residents do not have a high school diploma

  • 4000+ of our residents cannot read a newspaper or a book

  • Less than 10% of our population is receiving the help they need

Sources: Huffington Post, Begin to Read, RIF, SCI Learn

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