News

America Has A Major Financial Literacy Problem – even for those who read well

Did you know? 2/3 of American adults can’t pass a basic financial literacy test. 44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency. 43% of student loan borrowers are not making payments. 38% of U.S. households have credit card debt. On average, they owe $16,048. 33% of American adults have $0 saved for retirement. These statistics are from a recent Forbes article on how badly America is failing at financial literacy. They are for all Americans not just for those who have literacy problems....

READ Center Director Wins State Literacy Award

READ Center Executive Director Karen La Forge was named the winner of the Virginia Literacy Foundation’s 2018 Nancy Jiranek Award. The Virginia Literacy Foundation, which provides funding and technical support to private volunteer literacy organizations throughout the state, issues this award annually to individuals who exemplify the best in nonprofit management. “It is an honor to be recognized by the Virginia Literacy Foundation with the Nancy Jiranek Award,” said La Forge. “It is a privilege to be part of The READ...

How Literacy Rates Have Improved Since 1776

Today, 1 in 6 adults — approximately 35 million Americans — possess reading skills below the level of a fourth-grader. Studies show that adult literacy rates have not improved over the past 25 years, but many believe that this is still a marked improvement from where we were before the creation of the public school system. There’s a common misconception that Americans were illiterate before the 1830s. But in reality, that’s not quite true. In fact, the answer to...

A Friend in Disguise

Growing up in Farmville, VA, an area where education was stalled to combat integration in public schools during Massive Resistance, John, a 72-year-old African American male, reads at a 3rd-grade level. Although he cannot change the actions of the past, John is determined not to become a victim of the misfortunes he faced growing up. On his 60th birthday, John decided he would like to obtain his GED. After joining a tutoring session, John met a gentleman who at first...
Diversity & Inclusion at READ

READ Educators Participate in Diversity & Inclusion Training

The READ Center recently collaborated with the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC) to provide a Diversity and Inclusion training for tutors and teachers. At The READ Center, we pride ourselves on providing an inclusive environment for our students to learn and volunteers to tutor. When groups of people from different backgrounds come together, as they often do at READ, it’s an opportunity for all to learn, grow, and respect one another, but sometimes challenges arise. The training asked each participant to...

Washington and Lincoln via Snopes.com

The Education of Washington and Lincoln

Monday, February 19th is Presidents’ Day Today is Presidents’ Day.  Established in recognition of President George Washington in 1885, it is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday” by the federal government. The holiday became popularly known as Presidents’ Day in the 1970’s and is viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents past and present. Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is also in February, is often viewed as our “best” president. He held the Union together through a civil war that saw more...

Martin Luther King, Jr. quote

The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work is a beacon of hope for the future of education. Martin Luther King, Jr. and contemporary civil rights leaders have made great strides since the civil rights movement began more than 50 years ago. However, there is still work to be done to expand educational equity and opportunity to minority students. An Education Department report that surveyed “50 million students in 95,000 schools during the 2013-2014 school year showed that African-American and Latino students still lag...

Making a Difference Today and in the Future: A Literacy Legacy – The Walsh Memorial Fund

One Christmas, almost twenty years ago, the Walsh family discussed making donations to charity in lieu of a gift exchange. What resulted is a series of legacy gifts to The READ Center that have helped hundreds of adults improve their literacy skills over the years. “Literacy has always been important to my family. My parents encouraged me to read as a child, a passion that continues today. It’s a skill that I took for granted,” said Mike Walsh. Walsh is a...

READ Center student feedback

New Year and New Semester begins with a look back

It’s cold. Very cold. So, so very cold. However, READ Center teachers, tutors and students happily returned to classes this week. READ’s second semester of the 2017-2018 academic year is under way. But, before we get too far into the new semester, let’s review READ’s first semester. September 2017 kicked off an academic year filled with change and opportunity: READ changed to a trimester schedule which adds 5 additional weeks of instruction for students. So far, so good.  A new student assessment tool, Test for Adult Basic...