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Adult Learners Fall Further Behind in Unstable Economy

Submitted by Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County

Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County is part of a national network of literacy organizations offering adult education programs to help Americans gain the basic literacy skills they need to be employable in today’s tough economy.

“In addition, leaders from business, government, and education have come together in the past year to form the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County,” said Jane Murphy, executive director, LVOC. “We’ve made great strides in gathering both financial and in-kind support. One of our major accomplishments to-date has been the construction of a web section within the official site of Oswego County: www.co.oswego.ny.us. It’s helping to inform our community of the tremendous challenges illiteracy gives a community, but also shows us how much greater our county can be if we alleviate and conquer this problem.”

According to ProLiteracy, the world’s largest organization of adult basic education and literacy programs, the literacy crisis in the U.S. costs the nation $60 billion a year in lost productivity, $73 billion in unnecessary health care expenses, and contributes to unemployment, crime, drug abuse, and homelessness. Adult education and family literacy programs address these problems at the community level by providing the estimated 30 million adults with low literacy levels with the education they need to participate in the workforce.

“Education remains the most successful tool we have to fight unemployment,” said Jane Murphy, Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County. “Our adult education programs match trained volunteers with adults to help them improve the reading, writing, and language skills they need to take their lives in new directions and to contribute even more to their communities.”

“In the U.S., one out of seven adults has below-basic literacy skills,” said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “Making an investment in people’s education goes a long way in creating a skilled workforce. September 13 through 19 is Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, and we want to use this awareness week to sound the alarm about the growing American literacy crisis.”

Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County is a member of ProLiteracy and is one of hundreds of community-based organizations that makes up the ProLiteracy network.

In recognition of Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, Literacy Volunteers presented proclamations to the Fulton Common Council, Oswego County Legislature, and Oswego Common Council.

For more information about Literacy Volunteers’ services, visit www.lvoswego.org or call 315-342-8839.