Literacy Delaware is recognizing its 40-year anniversary this year in 2023. While on one hand it is wonderful to be around these 40 years, on the other hand it is very sad.
Sad that after 40 years, there is still an adult literacy crisis in our country and state. Through those 40 years, we have seen much growth with new program offerings and partnerships. We grew from serving the City of Wilmington to northern New Castle County to statewide.
The adult literacy crisis (yes, I call it a crisis when over half of the adults ages 16-74 can only read below the sixth-grade level) is solvable. But before the crisis is solved, the issue of low literacy/lack of proficient reading skills needs to be acknowledged. During this, our 40th year, Literacy Delaware is making a stand to say, “Enough!” If we want to build an equitable Delaware, literacy is the path we must take.
To this end, Literacy Delaware is hosting several different screening events of the soon-to-be-released documentary, “The Truth About Reading: The Invisible Crisis Hiding in Plain Sight,” throughout the state next week and the beginning of May. In this moving documentary, viewers will learn the struggles of learning to read as an adult, the struggles of children learning to read and the impact the science of reading makes.
Go to literacydelaware.org for dates, times, and locations of the movie screenings.
One day I hope I will be out of a job, not because Literacy Delaware as a nonprofit has no money, but because every adult in Delaware has sufficiently proficient literacy skills to not only survive but thrive. If we can send humans into space, we can certainly teach everyone to read proficiently.
Cynthia E. Shermeyer Executive Director Literacy Delaware