The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics conducted national adult literacy assessments in both 1992 and 2003.
They were designed to judge literacy proficiency for the nation and for large sub-groups.
The results showed that 14 percent of the adults did not have more than the most simple of literacy skills.
Paula Faulkner says she is seeing examples of this in her role as volunteer literacy coordinator for Southeastern Community College.
She says her program, which is free, is designed to help adults from throughout southeast Iowa who want to improve their reading and comprehension.
They generally do not know how to read or if they can, they can only read at a 6th grade level or lower.
Volunteers meet with participants at least once a week to utilize an educational system developed for each student. Faulkner says they can meet more frequently if both sides agree.
Faulkner says there are two training sessions scheduled for volunteers.
One will be held March 30th at the Burlington Public Library while the other will take place on May 5th at SCC’s Fort Madison Center.
Those interesting in participating in the program as a volunteer or as a student are encouraged to contact the college at (319) 376-2286 or (319) 208-5306.
The program is an affiliate of Pro-Literacy International.