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Kara Blalock

Illiteracy: The Downfall of American Society

Illiteracy has devastating effects in the United States, as well as around the world such as: poverty, unemployment and incarceration. Adults considered functionally illiterate are incapable or struggle with performing daily tasks. In a 2003 study on illiteracy around the world, the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003) states that Worldwide, one in five adults cannot read or write, in low-income countries, only about 61% of adults are literate, in high-income countries, almost 99% of adults are literate. The statistics in this article show a great connection of illiteracy and low income. There are many ways people can help by volunteering to tutor individuals struggling with literacy or joining an organization such as AmeriCorps.

There is a direct correlation between childhood illiteracy and adulthood illiteracy (Illiteracy: The Downfall of American Society, 2011, paragraph 4). You need a firm foundation as a child to excel to the fullest potential in reading and writing as an adult. Early childhood literacy is a major part in foundations of your education.

Both articles share information of illiteracy in America, including percentages of unemployment, poverty, and incarceration related to illiteracy. While both articles mention the social and economic cost of illiteracy, the related article “The Tragedy of Illiteracy in America” focuses more on this subject. In this study of illiteracy, The Tragedy of Illiteracy in America (2012), under the bold print Illiteracy Costs American Taxpayers explains that “Illiteracy costs taxpayers in the U.S. about $20 billion annually” also “Illiteracy devastates many children and causes many to drop out of school and costs Americans $240 billion in social-service spending and lost tax revenue.”

In my future classroom, I am going to encourage my students to read all types of books. My students will see my own love of books and reading and...
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