About Illiteracy

About Illiteracy

Illiteracy is a major epidemic here in the United States that needs to be fought from the start.  Start Them Off Reading Young donates a book when an item is purchased to a child in the U.S. where illiteracy rates are high or incomes are low. We also volunteer our time and knowledge to help with reading programs for children.  The statistics below are just some of the many statistics that show how huge of an issue illiteracy really is in the United States alone.

As many as 23% of adult Americans (40-44 million) are functionally illiterate (Level 1 according to the National Adult Literacy Survey), which means lacking basic skills beyond a fourth-grade level.

There is a direct correlation between parents with low literacy skills and their children having high averages of low literacy.

-“Adult illiteracy costs society an estimated $240 billion each year in lost industrial productivity, unrealized tax revenues, welfare, crime, poverty, and related social ills.” (http://washingtoncountyliteracycouncil.org/)

-“Adults with low-level reading skills frequently suffer from health problems because the lack the ability to read medical directions, health-related literature or prescription labels. Chronic health conditions may go improperly monitored by patients who are functionally illiterate and the overall well-being of these individuals may worsen overtime causing frequent doctor or emergency room visits, hospitalization, or even death.” (http://washingtoncountyliteracycouncil.org/)

-"The rate of illiteracy in America’s correctional systems is over 60%" (National Institutes of Health).

-“It’s estimated that over $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have literacy problems.
Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans have reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether.  Roughly 33% of children in California do not finish High School.
15% of the U.S. population has specific reading disorders such as dyslexia.” (National Assessment of Educational Progress) 

Out-of-school reading habits of students have shown that as little as 15 minutes a day of independent reading can expose students to more than a million words of text in one year.

Reading is not only important for communication and working, but can also be magical for children.  Reading can inspire dreams and expose people to nearly anything.  Reading opens eyes and minds and invites us into new worlds and incredible stories.  Reading is amazing and we want to share the magic of reading with anyone we can.

National Institute for Literacy
Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy