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Imagine a world where you couldn’t read…  imagine not being able to apply for a driver’s license, read bus routes or fill out a job application all because you never learned  how to read, write or perform simple math calculations. There are 800 million people internationally—one-fifth of the world—who live this reality.

Every year on Sept. 8, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization promotes International Literacy Day to raise awareness about global literacy. Here’s why:

– More than 36 million American adults struggle to read, write, do math, and use technology above a third grade level.

– The U.S. mean literacy score was below the international average—ranking 16th out of 24 countries.

– Adults with below basic literacy skills earn $28,000 less annually than those with proficient literacy skills.

– Women with low literacy skills are twice as likely to make $300 or less weekly.  The global female literacy rate has increased 15 percent since 1985, twice as much as the male literacy rate.

– Single mothers who lack a high school degree are much more likely to be on welfare than women who have a high school degree.

– People with low skills are four times more likely to have poor health (two times the national average).

Join the San Diego Council on Literacy in promoting and supporting literacy in our region. How?

– Read to a child.

– Volunteer to be a tutor.

– Help a child with homework.

– Donate books for children who have no books in their homes.

Contact the San Diego Council on Literacy to learn more about how you can make a difference.

It still takes a village.  Let’s start with ours:

Call 1-888-850-7323 or go to literacysandiego.org

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