3 Ways Literacy Skills Improve Society
Although literacy skills are beneficial on an individual level—enhancing one’s psychological well-being and the knowledge one can gain from being able to read. However, literacy skills also have far-reaching effects on a societal level. The benefits are almost intuitive, but here are three societal benefits of improving literacy skills:
1. Literacy improves the safety of society
The other day there was an article about how literacy can lower the crime rate. This one statistic says it all:
“Up to 80% of incarcerated individuals are functionally illiterate; studies show that if a child reads on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, there is a 99% certainty that child will never be incarcerated; school performance, more than any other single factor, is a major contributor as to whether a youth becomes involved in drugs or violence.”
2. Literacy improves education success
Education success is very dependent on reading abilities. This quote from Warren Bolton emphasizes how important reading skills are for education success:
“Today in America, more than 11 million children 5 years old and younger are living in poverty. Millions of these children will arrive at their first day of kindergarten bright, eager and happy — but with deficits in their reading readiness that leave them underprepared to read and learn along with classmates sitting in the chairs beside them… Sadly, starting one step behind decreases the likelihood that those smiling, eager children will ever catch up. Despite the billions of dollars Americans have invested in reading recovery programs, those children are at increased risk for absenteeism, dropping out, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy.”
3. Literacy improves the standard of living
In accordance with the previous two points, literacy can help improve the standard of living, as exposed in this statistic:
Only 50% of low-income 4th graders read at or above the basic level according to the Department of Education’s 2007 Nation’s Report Card.
Learn about an explicit phonics program that helps students in grades K-12 and adult learners make sense of reading.