Friday, December 12, 2008

Literacy . . . Info . . . News . . . Questions

Economic Stimulus Package Must Provide Funds for Adult Literacy and Basic Education !
ProLiteracy - Action Alert: Dec 2008

Adult learners, especially those at the lowest literacy level, often struggle to make ends meet when the economy is strong. They are especially hard hit during times of economic recession.

Adult learners must have the necessary reading, writing, math, computer, and English-language skills to get jobs and keep them. Any economic stimulus bill that Congress considers must include money for programs that help adults gain these skills.

Tell your representatives and your Senators that there must be economic stimulus money for adult literacy and basic education programs !

Send an E-mail - Write a Letter - Call Your Representative Today !
- sample letter from ProLiteracy - Check Out the
100 Day Plan @

I encourage you to target a minimum of $50 million to adult literacy and basic education programs as part of any economic stimulus package brought to Congress for action.

An estimated 30 million adults in the U.S. can barely read and write. There is a higher rate of unemployment in this group than in the general population. Many work in low-skill and low-paying jobs. Of the one million jobs lost this year, many were these low-skill jobs. For many of the unemployed, training for higher-skill jobs will require learning the fundamentals of reading, of writing, and of speaking English.

Local adult literacy and basic education programs are committed to preparing these adults for work. Many community-based programs offer workplace literacy services and partner with community groups to get people working. But thousands of adults are already on waiting lists for tutors and teachers, and demand is likely to grow as jobs become scarcer.

$50 million in funding for these programs is just a modest increase. It would support just 62,500 new learners at an estimated $800 per student for a year of literacy instruction. Failure to provide even this minimum level of extra funding will cost local, state, and federal governments more in unemployment and public assistance benefits, health care costs, and increased crime rates.

I applaud any action that helps individuals get back to work, but action that does not include funding to help adults gain the skills they need to access new jobs is woefully incomplete.

Sincerely,


Find Your Representatives @ American Library Association
~ members of Congress, governors, state legislators, and more ~

photo: Southern California Library Literacy Network - SCLLN

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