Literacy Connects closes the education gap for children and adults

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Each year, Literacy Connects helps thousands of children and adults gain the skills to keep up in school and start new careers. Still, it's not as widely known about as Executive Director Betty Stauffer would hope.

Currently, 60% of third graders in Pima County are not reading at grade level by third grade. And, nearly 20% of adults don't have the literacy skills they need to read past a sixth-grade level.

Literacy Connects has five programs in Tucson to close that gap. Two adult programs teach English and writing skills. Three programs are for children. For more information on reading coaches and writing programs, click HERE.

"What we know by investing in adult literacy is it does double duty," said Executive Director Betty Stauffer. "Every dollar you invest in adult education does an extra dollar's worth of work in the way it's going to impact and support the children in that family."

Thousands of children each year participate in Literacy Connects at their schools where teacher's don't have time for one on one coaching. Reaching coaches will bring books for children to read and keep at home with them.

"What we're trying to do is add enrichment to what the children get that they can't get in school, that the schools aren't able to give," said Stauffer.

The free library is a big piece of Literacy Connects. More than 40,000 books were given away last year. 

All the programs for kids and adults to get those opportunities are free at Literacy Connects, but volunteers are always needed:

"Supporting education through the local school or through Literacy Connects is not really optional," said Stauffer, "It's for all of us."

For more on enrolling in classes for adults, getting your child a reading coach or volunteering, just click HERE.

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