- Category: Language Literacy General Pages
- Published on Thursday, 11 March 2010 20:01
- Written by Tami Jackson
- Hits: 3609
What is the Literacy Center of Milford?
The Literacy Center of Milford is a non-profit organization that serves people from other countries who want to learn the English language and tutors people in need of mastering basic reading, writing and math skills. The Literacy Center of Milford provides a quality program where people can find the help and support they require to meet their basic literacy needs.
The mission of the Literacy Center of Milford is to provide services at no cost to any individual who wishes to learn the English language or enhance their reading, writing, speaking and math skills necessary to lead productive lives in our community.
How the Literacy Center Got Started
In 1988, the Junior Woman's Club of Milford provided the financial support to establish the Milford satellite office of the Literacy Volunteers of New Haven. This was done by a committee of women that eventually turned the task over to Frances O'Neill as the first Director. She coordinated the program out of her home until 1992 when the city of Milford provided office space at the Margaret Egan Center. In 1994, Frances turned the reins over to Joy Stonier and Karen O'Neil who were instrumental in forming the non-profit, community based, literacy agency known as the Literacy Center of Milford, serving the greater Milford, Connecticut area. In 1995, they relocated to a larger space at the Fannie Beach Center. Tami Jackson is currently the director of the Literacy Center of Milford. The Director and Board of Directors guide the Literacy Center of Milford.
ProLiteracy Worldwide estimates that 30 million adults in America are illiterate. Another 63 million are "functionally illiterate", meaning they can read and possibly write simple words, but cannot apply these skills to such daily tasks as reading a medicine label, balancing a checkbook, or filling out a job application.
Together, these two numbers total 93 million out of a population of 330 million, or about 28%. However, those gross numbers do not tell the deeper story of illiteracy. That story is personal, costly, and often tragic.
Illiteracy and crime
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 85% of all juvenile offenders are functionally illiterate. Sixty percent of prison inmates are illiterate. Falling afoul of the law is the extreme scenario of illiteracy. While ultimately costly to everyone, the demoralizing cost to the non-readers themselves is a more hidden tragedy.
The effect on one's income
An illiterate person earns about 42% less than a high school graduate. Without at least a sixth- to eighth-grade reading proficiency, an individual cannot function in vocational training programs or other educational opportunities that could improve their earning potential. The literacy rate for American workers is hurting productivity and profitability. We are being out-competed globally and often by people who effectively use English to their advantage.
Illiterate parents cannot read to their children, nor instill in them a love of learning. Providing adults with literacy skills allows them to share that gift with their children. With these new skills they can help a child with their homework, read notes sent home by teachers and administrators, navigate the world their children inhabit, and guide and encourage them. The effects can be passed down through generations. The National Institute of Health found that out of the 10-15% of children who drop out of school, more than 75% report reading difficulties. School dropouts, teenage pregnancy, poor academic achievement and crime are all potential consequences of not learning how to read.
The Solution: Free Literacy Tutoring
The Literacy Center of Milford offers one-to-one free tutoring in English reading, writing, and speaking skills to any adult who asks. Over the past 17 years, we have tutored more than 900 local community residents. Currently, there are more than 80 tutor and student teams working together.