Usually I focus on literacy skills being beneficial on an individual level. Enhancing one’s psychological well-being and the knowledge one can gain from being able to read. However, lately I continue to find articles about the benefits of literacy skills on the societal level, rather than the individual level. The benefits are almost intuitive, but the articles have changed the focus of my thoughts about literacy. Here are three societal benefits of improving literacy skills:
1. Improves the Safety of Society
“Up to 80% of incarcerated individuals are functionally illiterate; studies show that if a child reads on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, there is a 99% certainty that child will never be incarcerated; school performance, more than any other single factor, is a major contributor as to whether a youth becomes involved in drugs or violence.”
2. Improves Education Success
Education success is very dependent on reading abilities. This quote from the Warren Bolton emphasizes how important reading skills are for education success:
“Today in America, more than 11 million children 5 years old and younger are living in poverty. Millions of these children will arrive at their first day of kindergarten bright, eager and happy — but with deficits in their reading readiness that leave them underprepared to read and learn along with classmates sitting in the chairs beside them… Sadly, starting one step behind decreases the likelihood that those smiling, eager children will ever catch up. Despite the billions of dollars Americans have invested in reading recovery programs, those children are at increased risk for absenteeism, dropping out, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy.”
3. Improves the Standard of Living
In accordance with the previous two points, literacy can help improve the standard of living, as exposed in this statistic:
Only 50% of low-income 4th graders read at or above the basic level according to the Department of Education’s 2007 Nation’s Report Card.
Help improve literacy rates in your community by teaching the Reading Horizons methodology. Learn more by signing up for the Reading Workshop today!