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Literacy Facts

Utah County

Over 21,000 adults in Utah County are functionally non-literate.

Utah State

About 145,459 or 11% of the population function at a 3rd grade or below reading level.

Over 138,390 individuals over age 18 do not have a high school diploma.

National

1 in 5 people have difficulty with very basic reading skills.

1 in 3 people possess insufficient reading skills.

13% of 17-year olds are functionally non-literate.

15% of the work force and 25% of adult prison inmates are functionally non-literate.

75% of the prison population do not have a high school diploma.

More than one-third of welfare mothers are non-literate.

40% of Americans cannot determine correct change.

25% of Americans cannot address an envelope well enough to reach its destination.

Literacy and Poverty

43% of people with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty; 17% receive food stamps; 70% have no job or a part-time job.

Welfare recipients ages 17-21 read, on average, at a sixth grade level.

Almost 50% of adults on welfare do not have a high school diploma or GED.

Over 65% of people on welfare who do have a high school diploma or GED leave welfare and become self-sufficient within two years.

Literacy and Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities may be an inability to effectively listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or compute–skills needed by adults to function effectively as parents, family members, employees, or citizens.

Many people have learning disabilities. Estimates range from:

50-80% of all students in literacy and basic education programs.

15-30% of all participants in job training programs.

25-40% of all adults on welfare.

Grade Levels for Everyday Functions…

To Read:

Drivers license manual – 6th grade

Instructions on a frozen TV dinner – 8th grade

Directions on an aspirin bottle – 8th grade

Guide to Social Security benefits – 9th grade

Insurance policy – 12th grade

An apartment lease – College

To Work:

Cook – 7th grade

Mechanic – 8th grade

Supply clerk 9th -10th grade

To get a GED 8th – 9th grade

Adult Basic Education 5th – 6th grade

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