Why Adult Literacy is Important to Children
The Need for Literacy Services
- Parental involvement in their child's reading has been found to be the most important determinant of language and emergent literacy (Bus, van Ijzendoorn & Pellegrini, 1995),.
- Parental involvement in their child's literary practices is a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004).
- The earlier parents become involved in their children's literacy practices, the more profound the results and the longer lasting the effects (Mullis, Mullis, Cornille et al., 2004).
- Wisconsin has the second highest high school graduation rate in the country for whites. In contrast, Wisconsin has the worst graduation rate (50th out of 50 states) for African Americans. (Center on Wisconsin Strategy, 2002).
- In Dane county, more than 55,000 residents lack the functional literacy skills needed to read a letter from their children's teachers, a label in a grocery store, or instructions from a doctor. (US Census 2000 and the National Adult Literacy Survey 1992)
- In a national study, more than 65% of welfare recipients who had or attained a high school diploma left welfare and became self-sufficient within two years. (National Institute for Literacy, 1998).
- Approximately 1 million Wisconsin adults qualify for adult literacy and English language services, but only 50,000 (or approximately 5%) of adults in need of services are currently receiving them. (US Census and the National Adult Literacy survey 1992).
- 18.93%, or 785,682 Wisconsin Adults, age 16 and older, are not enrolled in school and do not have a high school diploma.
- Adult basic education and ESL services are chronically underfunded. Nationally, the total annual government expenditure for adults in literacy education programs is approximately $310 per enrollee. By contrast, the government spends about $7,500 per enrollee in the K-12 system and $16,000 per enrollee in the higher education system. (The Adult Education and Literacy System (AELS) in the United States: Moving from the Margins to Mainstream of Education, 2000)