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Open a Book, Open a Mind - Literacy Summit:Planting the seeds for economic prosperity

Last Updated on Monday, October 21, 2013. First published on Thursday, October 10, 2013.

Literacy supplement MH oct13The quality and prosperity of our local communities — and our nation — depends on a fully literate population.

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 defines literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society.”

Economic opportunities for those who lack reading skills are severely limited. In the United States, 43 percent of adults at the lowest literacy levels live in poverty. Seventy-five percent of food stamp recipients perform in the lowest literacy levels, and 90 percent of welfare recipients are high school dropouts.

In the pages of this publication are profiles of some of the organizations and people who are working in Monterey County to help our residents achieve greater levels of literacy and, thus, improve their quality of life. Many groups submitted articles for this publication; however, due to space limits not all could be included.

To read more, visit the Literacy Campaign for Monterey County’s website, www.literacycampaignmc.org, to see the range of services and programs offered in Monterey County.

On Oct. 25, the Literacy Campaign for Monterey County is hosting the “Summit on Literacy and the Economy: Reading Our Way to Prosperity.” This will provide an opportunity to learn how, as a community, we can address the issue of full literacy.

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Written by

Karen Smith