1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read. This staggering fact has overwhelming implications for the development of America’s children. Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
Philadelphia’s literacy issue is reflective of the nation on a whole. 22% of Philadelphia residents over the age of 16 cannot read or write well enough to understand elementary school material. That is approximately 250,000 Philadelphians without basic literacy skills. This prevents people from being able to perform daily tasks, like keeping a budget, helping a child with their homework, or following medical advice. Illiteracy is a leading contributor to unemployment, poverty, and homelessness.
Adults who cannot read are unable to participate in politics or community activism. Illiteracy affects people’s ability to participate in political debates or to make informed decisions in a voting booth. By not providing someone with the opportunity to learn to read, we are limiting their ability to be an active citizen.
To help fight back against the issue of illiteracy in Philadelphia, Colormake is partnering with Tree House Books, a local non-profit working to “grow and sustain a community of readers, writers, and thinkers.” Tree House Books’ mission is to empower Philly’s children through building basic literacy skills by providing them with support, education, and books.
Colormake will be running a book drive to help supply Tree House Books with much needed materials. We will be collecting books and school supplies at the First Unitarian Church Side Chapel on March 31st at 8pm. Click here for a full list of recommended items.
The lack of access to educational materials is an issue of basic human rights. We must all play a role in educating our children so that they grow up with the opportunity to succeed, both personally and professionally, and live to achieve their wildest dreams.