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The Crisis

The Crisis

When adults learn to read and write, they have the power to transform their lives.

Why Literacy? Why not focus on world health? Or gender equality? Or poverty relief? Our answer at ProLiteracy is simple. To solve all of these socioeconomic problems and more, we must start by building a more literate adult population. Because when individuals the world over learn how to read, write, do basic math, and use computers, the more likely they are to lift themselves out of poverty, contribute to improved health care costs, and find and keep sustainable employment.


$230 Billion The increase in annual health care costs in the United States due to low literacy skills.

Crime, unemployment, and poverty are all linked to low literacy, too. Get the facts about the adult literacy crisis.


unemployedHenry is one of 36 million American adults who can't read well enough to fill out a job application.

But will he get the help he needs? Overall funding for U.S. literacy programs has decreased in recent years...yet the need for such progams has increased. Find out more about the adult literacy problem in the U.S.


PlanMaria is one of the more than 493 million women around the world who can't read to her children.

Can her daughters break the cycle? Poorly educated mothers in developing countries are less likely to send their children to school than educated mothers. Learn more about the adult literacy problem around the world.

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| New Readers Press International Programs Ruth J. Colvin Center ProLiteracy Education Network