Did you know that one in five individuals in Indianapolis reads below the sixth-grade level? This is not just a problem unique to our capital city or our state. Nationally, about 14% of adults function at a level that is “below basic.” The Indianapolis Star noted the problem in a recent editorial.
Functioning at the “below basic” level means these individuals are able to read the alphabet or recognize a street sign. It does, however, also mean that the individual may not be able to read the instructions on a prescription bottle or fill out an application for a much needed job. Take a second and think about what your life would be like if you were not able to perform these basic functions. As you can probably guess, this national epidemic helps contribute to a substantial burden upon American taxpayers in the areas of public assistance, health care and employer’s unemployment insurance costs – just to mention a few.
Now you may be asking, “What do you want me to do about it?” Well let’s take baby steps. Monday is International Literacy Day. Take five minutes out of your day to read a book, newspaper or magazine. Make sure that your children pick up a book and read for a little while. Show your children that literacy is a lifetime skill that is of the utmost importance.
Go here for more information about fighting illiteracy in Indianapolis. If you are a Hoosier employer experiencing the difficulties of an illiterate workforce, visit Ready Indiana’s web site or call (866) 444-1082.