Kirkwood program works to address adult literacy crisis - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kirkwood program works to address adult literacy crisis

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Kirkwood Community College is working to address a literacy crisis when it comes to adults.

September 8th marks the 47th annual International Literacy Day to remind people that reading, writing and basic math remain an elusive target for nearly 800 million adults around the globe.

According to the Iowa Department of Education, nearly 23,000 adults are in Iowa.

Kirkwood Community College is part of a national network of organizations that tries to work to end the adult literacy crisis.

“About one in six adults is still not literate,” said Director of High School Completion Marcel Kielkucki. “Here at home, in our own community, we know that reading, writing and math challenge a significant population. We want to help families be healthier and safer through literacy and provide people sustainable opportunities to support themselves through work. This will contribute ultimately to the economic growth of our region and our country.”

According to ProLiteracy, more than 36 million adults in the United States lack the most basic literacy skills and 15 percent of Americans without a diploma don't have jobs.

ProLiteracy provides more than 1,100 community-based literacy organizations, including Kirkwood, with tools to help educate adult learners and help them meet the demands of today's workforce.

“Low literacy costs the nation more than two hundred billion dollars each year in lost productivity, as well as an addition one to two billion in health and safety issues,” said Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “Every dollar spent on adult literacy and education provides returns to the country through higher employment, added tax revenues, reduce welfare payments and less crime.”

Kirkwood offers adult basic education, high school equivalency and English as a second language. For more information about these programs and tutoring opportunities, please call 319-784-1510.

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