Literacy Facts

  • 44 million adults in the U.S. can't read well enough to read a simple story to a child. - National Adult Literacy Survey (1992) NCED, U.S. Department of Education
  • More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage. - National Institute for Literacy, Fast Facts on Literacy, 2001
  • Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are 3 - 4 times more likely to drop out in later years. - National Adult Literacy Survey, (1002) NCES, U.S. Department of Education
  • Students who reported having all four types of reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias) in their home scored, on average, higher than those who reporter having fewer reading materials. - The Nation's Report Card: Fourth-Grade Reading 2000, April 2001, The National Center for Education Statistics
  • In 1999, only 53 percent of children aged 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line. - The National Center for Education Statistics, NCES Fast Facts, Family Reading
  • So strong is the link between literacy and being a useful member of society that some states use grade-level reading statistics as a factor in projecting future prison construction. - Bob Chase, President, National Education Association
  • Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether. - A Nation Still at Risk, U.S. Department of Education, 1999
  • 56 percent of young people say they read more than 10 books a year, with middle school students reading the most. Some 70 percent of middle school students read more than 10 books a year, compared with only 49 percent of high school students. - National Education Association press statement, March 2, 2001
  • "Growing up without books is growing up deprived and with a deprivation that puts one at risk for failure." - Dr. Perri Klass, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine