TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Tucson branch of the E.W. Scripps Company is proudly participating in the "If You Give A Child A Book" campaign, distributing books to two local literacy charities Tuesday.
The program will combat shortfalls in childhood literacy in the area.
Less than half of third graders are reading and writing at the levels they should be at.
More than 80 percent of the preschoolers in Pima County are at risk for not being ready for kindergarten.
In Pima County, more than 25,000 households don't have an adult in the family that can speak English proficiently.
Statewide, more than 500,000 adults read at or below a fifth-grade level.
Poor literacy skills can have lifelong consequences. Students who don't read well by third grade are four times more likely not to graduate high school.
Adults with low literacy levels struggle to read basic instructions or apply for jobs. Without higher education, they are more likely to be unemployed, underemployed, or in jobs with less than middle-class wages.
Less than 10 percent of those who need literacy services in Arizona are being served, and that's why programs like those at the Tucson Jewish Community Center are so important.
Starting this February, the JCC will celebrate reading with a month-long series of events for children. The JCC enrolls year round, and you can get more information on preschool and other programs here.