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The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education

There is a significant connection between participation in adult basic skills programs and increased employment and income levels, high school equivalency and postsecondary education attainment, and civic participation. This return on investment, however, remains mostly unknown to policy makers, funders, and the general public. ProLiteracy’s new white paper, The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education, is based on a 10-year research study conducted by Dr. Stephen Reder, Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University. Dr. Reder found substantial evidence proving that involvement in adult basic skills programs has a positive return on investment related to improvin

Casting Aside Shame And Stigma, Adults Tackle Struggles With Literacy

At the tiny public library in Winterport, Maine, 43-year-old Robert Hartmann bends over The Little Engine That Could and slowly sounds out the first line. "Ch-chug, right?" he asks his volunteer tutor, Sandy DeLuck. "Yup," she encourages him. He presses on: "Puh-puff ... puff ... puff. Ding ... ding-dong?" Hartmann is burly, with five facial piercings, his arms inked with tattoos. This is his second session with DeLuck. He reads at about a first-grade level. He is one of the 35 million U.S. adults whose reading skills are below a fourth-grade level. Thirty-five million — or 1 in 6 U.S. adults. Nationwide, adult illiteracy has proved an intractable problem, linked to stubborn societal issues

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Frederick Douglass taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.

Carl Sagan

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