Get INFORMED. Get INVOLVED, with The Literacy Cooperative’s Top 10!

Greater Cleveland is in the midst of a LITERACY CRISIS.

Nearly a quarter of Cleveland residents do not have a high school diploma. Testing shows that 62.2%of the city’s kindergarteners are not ready for school, while 20.4% have not passed the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

This crisis may sound overwhelming, but it is not an unbeatable foe. It’s time to take action. Please read over The Literacy Cooperative’s Top 10 List and learn about ways that you can help us win this fight against illiteracy.

Get informed about EARLY LITERACY

From the moment the first school bell rings, many Cleveland-area children are already behind their peers. According to the (2016-2017) KRA, Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, 62.2% of Cleveland and 66.4% of East Cleveland kindergartners are “not-on-track,” to be ready for school. While 20.4% of Cleveland third graders are not meeting the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, placing them behind their peers and forcing them to find a way to catch up. (http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/Pages/Download-Data.aspx)

One way to help children prepare to succeed in school is by talking, singing and reading with them every day from birth. Our #WordGapCLE initiative strives to raise awareness about the importance of words to grow a baby’s brain.

Reach Out and Read Greater Cleveland leverages the relationship between parents and pediatricians to encourage parents to read aloud with their children every day and foster a literacy rich environment in the home.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library strives to ensure children grow up with books in the home. The program provides an age appropriate book once a month to children from birth to age five.

Get informed about ADULT LITERACY

Adults in our country are facing a literacy crisis too. In 2013, an international survey called the PIAAC (Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies) showed that 36 million adults cannot read above the third grade level. More astounding is that 63% of them work, but most likely in low-wage and low-skilled jobs. In Cleveland, 200,000 adults are at or below an eight grade level and 23.3% of individuals 25 and over do not have a high school diploma. These are troubling numbers, considering that it is projected that by 2018, 67% of Ohio jobs will require some type of post-secondary degree.

Low literacy skills can affect poverty levels and limit a person’s ability to rise above the poverty line. In this video, Emily Campbell of the Center for Community Solutions explains the connection between low literacy rates and poverty. Watch this video to learn more.