The Importance of Literacy

"For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right.... Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential."

Kofi Annan

Did You Know?

We focus on helping each person achieve his or her potential through literacy skills.

We offer tutoring to take the U.S. Citizenship exam. Recently, two of our students passed it and are now citizens!

People who volunteer often become happier and feel more connected to their community. Volunteers know they are making a difference to other people.

When individuals improve their literacy skills, they feel more confident and able to do new things.

For some adults, reading is difficult because they have a learning disability. We help each student to discover their best learning style and build on what they already know.

The most important predictor of children's literacy level is their mother's literacy level. Each time we help a mother improve her skills, it helps her children have a better start in life.


How does improved literacy affect the community?

Literacy can:
  • Help our communities be healthier, and reduce individual, insurer, employer, and government health care costs;
  • Advance the employability of Maine citizens;
  • Increase the efficiency and profitability of Maine businesses, improve their sustainability, and attract businesses looking to come to Maine;
  • Improve the quality of life for all Mainers.
How does low-literacy affect the community?

According to ProLiteracy:

  • More than 60 percent of people who are in state and federal corrections facilities can barely read and write.
  • 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.
How many people have problems with literacy?
In Maine, approximately 1 in 6 adults read at the lowest literacy level. These individuals are not able to read a newspaper article and struggle with written directions, medicine labels and other kinds of daily reading needs.

What is literacy?
Literacy is using printed and written information to achieve personal goals, develop knowledge and build potential to better participate in society. Literacy is about: dignity, voting, working, self-advocacy (understanding your rights), health, family, writing and personal expression, paying the bills and shopping, and living a better life!

What is Health Literacy?
Healthy People 2010 defines health literacy as "The degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions." These are the skills that all people need, for instance, to find their way to the right place in a hospital, fill out medical and insurance forms and communicate with healthcare providers.

What is Financial Literacy?
Personal financial literacy is the ability to read, analyze, manage, and communicate about the personal financial conditions that affect material well-being. This can include skills related to budgeting, banking, credit, savings, identity theft and more.

What is Family Literacy?
Family Literacy addresses the literacy and learning needs of an entire family through partnerships among community providers. Family Literacy is a family-centered educational approach that improves the basic reading, mathematics, writing, English language proficiency, and life skills of both parents and their children from birth through age 8.

What is ESOL?
ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. ESOL tutors help adults from other countries learn to speak, read and write English. They also help learners adjust to life in the United States.

Are there different types of literacy?
Literacy encompasses many skills and types of knowledge. Sometimes we categorize these different types of literacy. These include: Basic Literacy, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), Math, Family Literacy, Financial Literacy, Health Literacy Workplace Literacy and Computer Literacy.

952 Main Street • Sanford, ME 04073 • 207-324-2486 • Fax: 207-324-2486
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