tell our city’s leaders to cut poverty in half.
#IMPACTpoverty. Invest in literacy.
Invest in the literacy of District residents to reduce poverty. @mayorvincegray @Catania_EdCmte #IMPACTpoverty
Send a letter to tell our city leaders to support literacy.
Dear Chairman Mendelson, Chairman Mendelson,
The ability to read and comprehend written text, to communicate effectively, and to carry out basic mathematical functions – the pillars of literacy – are essential to success in life and in today’s global economy. Evidence strongly shows that the failure to improve the literacy of District residents undermines the success of our schools and limits our workforce. It also condemns many to a lifetime of poverty. In fact, research tells us that forty-three percent of adults with the lowest level of literacy live in poverty, compared to only four percent of those with the highest level of skill.
We know that many District residents struggle with literacy. Across the District of Columbia, 37% of adults are functionally illiterate (2008 Adult Literacy Council) and a majority of students in publicly funded schools are not reading or doing math at a proficient level. Nearly 60% of third graders are not reading at grade level as measured by District testing. By Grade 4, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (2011) finds that fully 81% of children read below grade level. While we know that literacy is not the only solution to poverty – we must also support affordable housing and our city’s safety net – we can make a significant impact by supporting the literacy of District residents.
We recognize the continuing, unprecedented challenge you face in making tough policy and funding decisions. However, we know that investing in literacy will offer significant special education savings and increased economic growth. We ask you to take the following steps to improve the literacy of District residents:
Your support will ensure both children and adults have the skills they need to succeed in school, in the workforce and in life.
Thank you for your leadership and support.