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Literacy Volunteers of Santa Fe

Our mission is to provide tutoring to adults in reading, writing and speaking English to strengthen our community, families and workforce.

Here in Santa Fe there is a tremendous need for this service: according to the 2010 U.S. Census, 34% of adults in Santa Fe County are functionally illiterate. That means that they read at the 6th grade level or below.

Here are some national facts about people with low literacy rates: • 43% live on or below poverty levels • 15% are unemployed • They comprise 75% of state prison populations • They add $230 billion to health care costs annually • Teenage girls with low literacy skills are 4 times more likely to become pregnant

People with low literacy skills face impossible odds and challenges gaining meaningful employment. They are more likely to be out of work, incarcerated, or hospitalized. The lack of job opportunities can only perpetuate poverty and make access to quality health care more difficult. On an emotional level, the inability to read and write is embarrassing, frustrating and shaming.

Helping people to read and write can make a substantial difference in their lives and in the lives of their families. Adults who learn to read and write can make significant gains in finding and keeping sustainable employment, have better access to health care, help with their children’s school work and participate more fully in their communities.

All of our tutoring is done by volunteers. We currently have 140 tutors. Increasing that number is key to reaching and helping more students. Tutors are required to take a 20-hour course which costs approximately $1,000. Last year we conducted 5 sessions and trained 52 new tutors. This year we want to have 6 sessions and train at least 60 tutors.

A $1,000 grant would allow us to do this and take a step forward in eradicating illiteracy and its accompanying problems right here in Santa Fe.

Funded by Santa Fe, NM (May 2016)

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