Literacy Council works to help adults in Shelby County - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Literacy Council works to help adults in Shelby County

Posted: Updated:
SHELBY COUNTY - AL -

Something many probably take for granted is the ability to read.

Yet, 92,000 Alabamians are functionally illiterate. Even in Shelby County, with the state's lowest unemployment, 8,400 adults can not read.

"A lot of them have found ways to hide it, we have people who come into our program,
their spouse doesn't even know they can't read," Beth Wilder, executive director of the Literacy Council of Central Alabama says.

Wilder admits the number of functioning illiterate adults is staggering. 15% of adults in Alabama are 'functionally illiterate'.

"That means you cannot read or write well enough to function in society, that generally means reading or writing below a sixth grade level," Wilder explains.

Wilder says quality of life for illiterate men and women is even more difficult now than a generation ago.

"You really cannot function like you could have 40 to 50 years ago," says Wilder. "You could of gotten a higher paying job with a plant or a mill, you can't do that now. The way technology has advanced, if you can't read, those jobs are not available to you."

The Literacy Council of Central Alabama works with adults in Bibb, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Claire and Walker counties.

The newest chapter begins this week in Shelby County.

Would it surprise you to learn that the county with the lowest unemployment has 7% illiteracy?

"I think people tend to overlook Shelby County because they do have so many great things going on, those people tend to be forgotten," Wilder says. "Because they don't make up the vast majority of the population there."

More than 3,885 people in Shelby County have not completed the 9th grade. More than 13,404 do not have a high school diploma.

Dr. Elaine Hughes, a former English professor at the University of Montevallo helped form the Shelby County literacy chapter.

It is as much to help young children as their parents.

"As the mother's level of education increases, her children's success in school increases," says Hughes. "So it's not just to deal with these adults. It is a problem for our society, it's something we need to address and I think we in Shelby County are very capable of doing."

To reach out and help the 8,400 illiterate adults in Shelby County, the Literacy Council of Central Alabama is offering adult literacy programs at the North Shelby Library on Highway 119 and at Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo.

Right now, eight tutors have signed up for training sessions that start September 22 and more are needed.

If you're interested in becoming a tutor or taking part in the literacy program, you can contact the Literacy Council of Central Alabama at (205)-326-1925.

Or you can visit the website here.

 

 

Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Auburn season opener vs Arkansas picked up by SEC Network

    Auburn season opener vs Arkansas picked up by SEC Network

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:37 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:37:33 GMT
    The SEC Network will televise Auburn season opener against Arkansas on August 30 at Jordan Hare Stadium.The SEC Network made the announcement on Friday and also said the network's pregame "SEC Nation"More >>
    The SEC Network will televise Auburn season opener against Arkansas on August 30 at Jordan Hare Stadium.The SEC Network made the announcement on Friday and also said the network's pregame "SEC Nation"More >>
  • Hoover Police arrest Georgia murder suspect

    Hoover Police arrest Georgia murder suspect

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:14 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:14:29 GMT
    Hoover Police Patrol and Special Response Team (SRT) officers arrested a suspect wanted by the Union City, GA. Police Department for murder. The suspect was taken into custody without incident shortlyMore >>
    Hoover Police Patrol and Special Response Team (SRT) officers arrested a suspect wanted by the Union City, GA. Police Department for murder.  The suspect was taken into custody in the Ross Bridge area.
    More >>
  • 7-year-old found with loaded gun at school

    7-year-old found with loaded gun at school

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:11 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:11:34 GMT
    Jefferson County deputies say a teacher at Center Point Elementary School observed a child showing a handgun to another student. The teacher immediately took the gun and notified the principal and schoolMore >>
    Jefferson County deputies say a teacher at Center Point Elementary School observed a child showing a handgun to another student.More >>
  • UAB spring football game is rained out

    UAB spring football game is rained out

    Friday, April 18 2014 11:47 AM EDT2014-04-18 15:47:37 GMT
    Wet weather ruined UAB's spring game plans.The Blazers canceled their final spring scrimmage, which was scheduled for Friday night at West Campus Field, due to rain. It will not be made up.Football coachMore >>
    Wet weather ruined UAB's spring game plans.The Blazers canceled their final spring scrimmage, which was scheduled for Friday night at West Campus Field, due to rain. It will not be made up.Football coachMore >>
  • YH Sleep and your relationship

    YH Sleep and your relationship

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:44:35 GMT
    New research may have you thinking about sleeping closer to your spouse at night.   Researchers asked more than one thousand people to describe their preferred sleeping habits and to rate the qualityMore >>
    What does your sleeping habits say about your relationship with your spouse?More >>
  • Northport Police launch program to teach kids gun safety

    Northport Police launch program to teach kids gun safety

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:22 AM EDT2014-04-18 14:22:16 GMT
    Northport Police Department is launching their gun safety program for children Pre-K to 3rd grade this summer. The goal of the program is to teach children what to do if they come in to contact withMore >>
    Northport Police Department is launching their gun safety program for children Pre-K to 3rd grade this summer.More >>
  • Tuscaloosa police investigating assault

    Tuscaloosa police investigating assault

    Friday, April 18 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-04-18 13:15:32 GMT
    Deputies, along with homicide and CID investigators were called to the 4300 block of Virginia Drive Thursday in regards to a stabbing. When they arrived, they found at least two people hurt. Deputies sayMore >>
    Deputies, along with homicide and CID investigators were called to the 4300 block of Virginia Drive Thursday in regards to a stabbing.More >>
  • Highway shooting suspect in custody in Kansas City

    Highway shooting suspect in custody in Kansas City

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:59:51 GMT
    Authorities believe the man responsible for recent highway shootings in the Kansas City area is in their custody. Police held a brief news conference Thursday announcing they had arrested a suspect butMore >>
    A suspect has been taken into custody after an investigation into random highway shootings in the Kansas City area.More >>