The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education
Posted by Jennifer Vecchiarelli on June 27, 2017 in categoryFacts & ResearchcategoryAdvocacycategoryMember Tips

The Case for Investment in Adult Basic Education

How to Use Information in This Paper—A Call to Action

Dr. Reder’s research is significant in that it is nearly the only research of its kind that shows the correlation between obtaining literacy skills and a return on investment related to improving an adult’s life and future. While this is well known to many educators, it has remained largely unknown to policy makers, funders, and the general public. These audiences often rely on research and data when making decisions on priorities and actions. Therefore, we must capitalize on the findings of this study to help stakeholders act in order to advance adult literacy and education. 

What Can You Do?

The following are some ways you can act to spread the word about this important research:

1. Send this paper to:

  • Local, state, national elected officials
  • Funders or prospective funder.


2. Set a meeting with elected officials to share the results outlined in this paper. Bring a learner with you to show a real-life success story. Be sure to be prepared with a call-to-action. 

3. When applying for funding from a corporation or foundation, include the findings from this research in your proposal to demonstrate the return on investment in supporting adult basic skills. Include a success story about one of your adult learners. Funders often respond to research facts along with a heart-warming story about how a person’s life has been positively changed. 

4. Promote this paper, its findings, and relevant graphs/graphics on all social media outlets. Use hashtags #ProLiteracy, #literacy, #adulted

5. The graphs and infographics in this paper can be used in a variety of ways:

  • In funding proposals
  • By posting to social media
  • In your organization’s newsletter
  • In letters to private funders 
  • In communication with policy makers
  • In recruitment or other flyers

6. Reference the statistics from this report at public events, in media interviews, in student speeches, etc.

7. Couple the ROI information in this paper with PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) data when possible. It’s important to show the need for investment in adult literacy along with the benefits it can bring. 

8. Become an advocate for public policies and legislation that support adult literacy programs. Become a ProLiteracy member and receive alerts on legislative and policy issues as well as tools to help promote adult literacy. You can also visit sites such as to take action in support of adult literacy and its important correlation with so many social issues. 

Share the Importance of Adult Literacy

It's important to share this information as often and in as many places as possible. Elected officials and funders have multiple priorities when making decisions on actions to support their constituents. 



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Research proves the correlation between obtaining literacy skills and the return on investment related to improving an adult’s life and future.

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