Youth Literacy Council -One Literate World
Committee Chair: Emily Wang
Committee Members: Christie Yu, Sophie Wen, Lauren Yang, Cissy Xiao, Jonathan Liu, Alex Lin, Eric Wu, Shangtao Wu, Leo Tong, David Lin, Luvena Huo, Claire Wen, Bradley Yu
Message from Emily:
Ever since the moment I learned to read, I have been exploring the fascinating world of literature. English Language Arts has always been one of my favorite subjects in school and I absolutely adore the symbolism and deeper meanings I can always find ingrained in a work of literature. The culture and depth of a story is unparalleled, and I love to put the ideas I get from my ventures into the world of reading into writing. I believe that I am well suited to the position of Chair of the Literature Committee due to an understanding and love of reading and writing, a passion for helping others less fortunate than I am, and my experience with a leadership position. I have many ideas about what I can do to improve AYLUS and benefit others. For example, I am planning to organize bake sales and garage sales to raise funds for Libraries without Borders, an organization that sends books to several different continents, including the Americas, Europe, and Africa. My purpose for this plan is to help further the creative mindsets and the education of those who cannot afford it, as well as to enable others to enjoy literature as we do. It would be fantastic to provide a way for others to further their interest. If this is successful, then I plan on doing more fundraisers for the organization.
Literacy may not be something that you think about often, but it is crucial to dealing with everyday situations.
Did you know:
- 66% of fourth graders who cannot read on level will end up in jail or on welfare. More than 70% of inmates read below a fourth grade level.
- 25% of children in America grow up illiterate.
- As of 2011, America was the only free-market OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) country where the current generation was less educated than the previous one.
- Nearly 85% of the juveniles who face trial in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, proving that there is a close relationship between illiteracy and crime. More than 60% of all inmates are functionally illiterate.
- 3% of 4th graders admitted to reading recreationally “almost every day,” while only 20% of 8th graders could say the same.
- Twenty-six percent of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14 percent of children who were read to less frequently.
- Just under 20% of high school grads haven’t developed basic reading proficiency by the time they don their cap and gown.
- Reading to kids early on can help to boost literacy rates over the long term. An estimated 77% of children who are read to are more likely to read or attempt to read on their own, versus 57% of kids who don’t have regular story time at home.
- If solid reading skills aren’t formed during a child’s early years, the odds of dropping out down the road increase significantly. Kids who aren’t successfully reading at grade level by the third grade are four times less likely to finish high school.
- Poor reading skills may also increase the chances of becoming a teen mom. In one study, 21% of girls with below average reading skills had a child in their early teens, compared to 5% of girls who rated above average.
- School dropouts cost our nation $240 billion in social service expenditures and lost tax revenues
- 75% of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90% of high school dropouts are on welfare
- Reports show that the rate of low literacy in the United States directly costs the healthcare industry over $70 million every year.
- In a study of literacy among 20 ‘high income’ countries; US ranked 12t
- Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their children
- 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level
- 45 million are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level
- 44% of the American adults do not read a book in a year
- 6 out of 10 households do not buy a single book in a year
- 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read
- Between 46 and 51% of American adults have an income well below the poverty level because of their inability to read
- Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year
- On a global scale, illiteracy affects 774 million adults aged 15 or older. Among developed nations, the U.S. ranks 16th for adult reading skills.
Being able to read is important to maintaining good health, particularly if you have a serious illness or condition that requires medication or ongoing treatment. When patients lack basic reading skills, it can impact the health care system to the tune of $100 billion annually.
Here at OneLiterateWorld, we are dedicated to raising the literacy rate and providing adequate reading materials and resources for people of all ages.
Below is a list of helpful websites that contain resources for students, parents, teachers, adults, and children. The websites have everything from reading lists to volunteer opportunities to ways to prepare for a job.
Adult Literacy League: http://www.adultliteracyleague.org/resources/
American Library Association: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/literacy/adultliteracy
Connect 4 Literacy: https://www.connect4literacy.org/literacy_resources
Digital Literacy: http://www.digitalliteracy.gov/resources
Literacy Connections of the Hudson Valley: http://www.literacyconnections.org/resources/
Literacy Information and Communication System: http://lincs.ed.gov/
Literacy, Languages, and Leadership: https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/printable-resources-for-adult-basic-skills/
Literary Resources, Inc. : http://www.literacyresourcesinc.com/resources/assessments/
Literacy Worldwide: https://www.literacyworldwide.org/get-resources
Literacy Works : http://www.litworks.org/teaching_adults.html
National Adult Litreacy Agency: https://www.nala.ie/tutors/worksheets
Ohio Literacy Resource Center: http://literacy.kent.edu/Oasis/Resc/Educ/edu.html
Reach Out and Read: http://www.reachoutandread.org/
Reading Partners: http://readingpartners.org/
Reading Rockets: http://www.readingrockets.org/audience
Start with a Book: http://www.startwithabook.org/literacy-resources
U.S. Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/pi/AdultEd/weblinks/index.html?exp=3
Volunteer Match: http://www.volunteermatch.org/
November is the National Family Literacy Month. All branches of AYLUS are encouraged to perform one of the following activities!
Literacy Project Ideas
- Take a selfie with a book or something/someone promoting literacy, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read to patients at a local hospital/library/school
- Partner with a local business to promote literacy Volunteer at a local library
- Post a picture to social media and tag it #NationalLiteracyMonth
- Run book drives and donate books to organizations in need
- Start a fundraiser campaign for the cause
- Donate books to a local school/charity/library
Volunteer hours will be given out. The number depends on the project!
Email Emily Wang email@example.com for more information, or if you have your own idea
Over the winter break, Emily Wang has been busy preparing for an ESL camp for the elderly. Originally meant for just her grandmother, she decided to expand the number of students in her class to 12. With the intent to help make the lives of non-English speaking immigrants easier, Emily Wang held a two hour beginner workshop that covered English basics such as the alphabet, numbers, greetings, and vocabulary. She enlisted the help of several fellow volunteers to help her smoothly run the class, which went off without a hitch. In fact, the event went so well that Emily Wang, along with her crew of volunteers, will continue hosting the workshops in the future.
During the summer of 2016, I became a certified adult ESL tutor. Over the summer, as part of an ongoing project to promote literacy, I decided to tutor a few third level ESL students at the Council of Literacy. Having this opportunity to teach adults as opposed to children really revealed some things to me, especially through one of my students in particular. Said student was an elderly lady in her 60s. She was from Mexico, and had a hard life growing up. When she was an adult, she immigrated to the United States to support her grandchildren, and eventually found her way down to Texas.
After meeting her, I was inspired by her story. She had struggled throughout her life, but at the end had come out of it as an optimistic adventurer who loved to explore. It was clear that she was truly motivated to learn English despite her age, and she has said that because of her travels, she feels younger than she really was.
All in all, my tutoring at the Council of Literacy gave me a fresh outlook on how to approach my goals, as well as furthering my passion for literacy. I realized that, despite how cliche it sounds, you are really never too old to learn. I hope to eventually bring this view and passion to others struggling with learning a second language.