At READ, we love to talk about how adult literacy changes lives. It’s our mission statement! But what do we mean when we say that READ changes lives through adult literacy? Here are five ways that our programs do exactly that.

Employment Readiness

40% of READ Center students are unemployed. Students often come to us because they want to get a job, a better job, a promotion or to pass a certification test. Some students need help filling out job applications or passing a driver’s test so that they can get to work. No matter their specific needs, improved literacy skills provide a path to their employment goals.

Family Literacy

Children raised by low literate parents have a 72% chance of being at the lowest literacy level themselves. One of the best ways to ensure that children can read well is to make sure their parents can read well. Students come to READ because they want to help their children or grandchildren read or with schoolwork. They know the challenges they have faced and want to help their children do better.

Health Benefits

Some low literate adults struggle with staying healthy because they cannot read and understand the information they receive from medical providers. Prescriptions, directions, and basic health information can be inaccessible because they are often written in high-level medical jargon. In order to help students stay healthy, READ now incorporates health information into literacy instruction. Healthy READ students can come to class and continue to make literacy progress.

Financial Benefits

Financial literacy provides students with knowledge of money, loans, and budgeting. Students are empowered to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families. When you are financially stable, you have less stress, better health, better family life and more options for housing. See some of the financial literacy resources that READ provides to students and the community.


There is a stigma associated with not being able to read well as an adult. It is embarrassing and causes a great deal of shame. READ students gain confidence as a result of their improved literacy and communication skills. This confidence benefits them in all areas of life– when applying for a job, filling out health forms, or reading a bible verse at church. Take it from READ student Isabelle, who said, “[My teacher] Mrs. Jamison has taught me that I can achieve anything that I want. She tells me not to say “I can’t”, but “I can”.”

The READ Center is changing lives through adult literacy. For more information on how you can get involved with the READ Center, consider volunteering as a tutor or donating. If you or someone you know would like more information about joining our classes, learn how to become a student or call 804-288-9930.