For decades now, the crisis of a growing epidemic of illiteracy has been the focus of our largest Foundations and Think-Tanks. They understand that illiteracy negatively impacts our communities, our cities, our nation and our world – not to mention the pain to the individual. We know that children who are not reading at grade level in the 3rd Grade are 4 times more likely to drop-out of high school than children who are reading at level – and we also know that over their lifetime, a high school dropouts costs our society between $300,000 and $1,700,000. Conversely, we know that children (regardless of class, race or gender) who are reading at grade level in the 3rd Grade graduate high school at a rate of 89% or better – and therefore have the potential to be fully functioning citizens – and who add to the vibrancy and success of their communities.
READING IS MORE IMPORtANT
With the dawn of our new economic age – where most good jobs require an element of technical expertise – there is no place for the illiterate person – but only in the most menial and low-skilled jobs or, tragically, as a ward to “the system”. For the illiterate person, they almost certainly assured a life in poverty. A life of feeling unwelcome in our own society. It does not have to be this way.
There are countless programs and products addressing illiteracy.
Most of these programs can be successful, but are missing one crucial element, READING MENTORS! Where is the volunteer army needed to assure that every child has a chance to succeed in school?
The answer is in the churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship. It is an IDEAL opportunity for the faith communities to engage, and that is where Children’s Literacy Project comes in.
Many Faith Leaders are already engaging in the public schools, providing much needed support to the administration, teachers, the kids, and facilities. To this point, very few have taken on the needs in the classroom. Literacy/reading is the one area where volunteers are welcome to interact one-on-one with the children, and they are in short supply.
Children’s Literacy Project was created to move faith communities into action on the identified needs of the schools.