Literacy skills are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with Level 5 reflecting the highest skills and Level 1, the lowest. According to the Adult Literacy Estimates based on the 1990 U.S. Census, 17% of the population in Wake County, NC is at Level 1. In other words, they have difficulty performing such everyday tasks as locating an intersection on a street map, reading and comprehending a short newspaper article or calculating total costs on an order form. Illiteracy is a cycle. Statistics show that children of functionally illiterate parents are twice as likely as other children to be functionally illiterate themselves.
For the past 28 years, the Wake County Literacy Council has provided adults with one-on-one tutoring in Basic Literacy Skills and English as a Second Language (ESL). Ninety-nine percent of their organization is comprised of approximately 10 volunteers who contribute 21,000 hours a year. The volunteers tutor their students two times per week, for an hour at a time.
Because of this effort, parents learn to read to their children at home, increasing their children’s chances at succeeding in school. Additionally, they are able to accomplish specific goals, such as helping a friend write a letter. There is an 80% retention rate of students each year, making Wake County Literacy Council successful in its efforts.
WCLC receives the money it needs to function through grants, fundraising, and donations.