Basic Literacy

On its simplest level. . .the ability to read and write. The other four literacies depend on basic literacy.


Reading is Fundamental, a non-profit literacy organization that gives books to children, lists the following statisitcs:

    • There are 93 million adults in the U.S. who read at or below the basic level needed to contribute successfully to society.
    • 34 percent of children entering kindergarten lack the basic language skills needed to read.65 percent of fourth graders read at or below the basic level

Additionally, PA Forward, an initiative of Pennsylvania libraries, indicates that 13 percent of Pennsylvanians lack basic literacy skills such as the abilty to read a newspaper or a brochure.

In Lackawanna County, about 20 percent of adults are functionally illiterate. That means that while they are able to read and write, these skills are so basic that they struggle managing the requirements of their jobs or sometimes routine tasks of daily living. This statistic is provided by SCOLA Volunteers for Literacy, a division of the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania. They offer more than 60 programs such as reading, comprehension, life skills, typing, math, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, as well as ESL (English as a Second Language). SCOLA offers tutoring opportunities for volunteers.

Faculty  at The University of Scranton have been collaborating with the Scranton School District to increase literacy in the region. They also want to raise awareness about illiteracy among local doctors and school nurese through the Reach Out and Read program.