UEH Professional Reading Program
Help us fight illiteracy in school-aged children!
The Illiteracy Crisis in School-Age Children Across the United States
The illiteracy crisis in school-aged children in the United States is a growing concern as a large number of students are still unable to read.
In 2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), approximately 4% of the U.S. school-age population (ages 6-17) were considered to have below-basic literacy skills.
In 2019, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), approximately 33% of eighth-graders in the US scored below the basic level in reading.
According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), in 2019 approximately 14% of U.S. adults ages 16 and older were considered to have below-basic literacy skills, with the lowest levels of literacy found among those who had not completed high school.
Despite these studies being done in 2019, there are still a number of students in our communities who struggle with reading and writing. The NAEP has found that there is in fact an achievement gap in reading between students from low-income families and their higher-income peers which has remained consistent over the past two decades. Where approximately 12% of school-aged children who lived in poverty were considered to have below basic literacy skills compared to 2% of children who did not live in poverty.
Addressing this issue is extremely critical for the future success of our youth, families, and communities.
Ways Literacy Can Improve Our Communities
Literacy refers to the ability to read and write in a manner sufficient for communication and comprehension. It is a crucial life skill that enables individuals to engage with the world around them and pursue opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Literacy can have a significant impact on communities and can lead to many positive outcomes, including:
Improved economic outcomes: Literacy skills are essential for success in the workforce, and individuals with strong literacy skills are more likely to be employed and earn higher salaries.
Better health outcomes: Literate individuals are better equipped to access and are able to understand health information, which can lead to overall improved health outcomes and a reduction in healthcare costs.
Stronger community involvement: Literate individuals are more likely to be involved in their communities and to participate in civic activities such as voting and volunteering.
Enhanced quality of life: Literacy skills are essential for personal growth and can help individuals access educational, cultural, and leisure opportunities that can improve their quality of life.
Decreased crime rates: Studies have shown that increasing literacy rates can help reduce crime, as individuals with strong literacy skills are less likely to engage in criminal behavior.
Overall improving literacy in communities like Ferguson, MO and Chicago, IL can lead to more educated involved, and prosperous communities which can benefit our youth, families, and the community as a whole.
Help Make A Change!
With your support you can help UEH transform the Chicago, IL and Ferguson, MO communities. Donate now to assist with buying books for students in the UEH Literacy Program
Together, let's fight to bring change!
Volunteer to Read or Tutor
We need you!
We are still looking for professionals to tutor and read to students of all grades in person or virtually over the course of the year.
Become the change you wish to see in the world!
Gift a Book to a Student
Gifting a book to a student is a great way to support their education! Purchase a book or two from the vendors below to help UEH fight illiteracy.
When checking out, please be sure to ship the book to the following name and address:
First Name: Paula
Last Name: Williams
Company Name: Unstoppable Extended Hands
For Purchases for Chicago, IL students: 1448 E. 52nd St, Suite 234 Chicago, IL 60615
For Purchases for Ferguson, MO students: 225 St. Louis Avenue, Suite 11131 Ferguson, MO 63135
Gift Cash Bug Learns About Needs and Wants by Lakenya Taylor
Cash Bug Learns about Needs and Wants is a children's book that teaches a valuable lesson on the difference between needs and wants. In this book, Cash Bug learns a hard lesson when faced with a tough decision on what to buy. What will Cash Bug Do?
Gift Change Your Number Change Your Life by George Dean Esq.
Change your Number, Change your Life is a self-improvement book about decision-making which is intended for the youth and appropriate for adults. The book provides a simple tool, the Number Line, to empower people to make positive decisions that add value to their lives.
Change your Number, Change your Life will help you identify where you are in life so you can see what it will take to get where you want to be. So what is your number and how can you use the Number Line to Change your Number and Add in Life?
Gift a book by Jeremy C. Watson
A collection of poetic affirmations meant to uplift and encourage.
Listen in on Izzy's conversation with God as she details her love for dance and how it relates to her worship.
Celebrate the vibrancy of colors all around us, which include the color of our own skin.
Listen in on a conversation between two brothers after their peers pressure young Ian to join in on bullying one of his classmates.
Takes a glimpse into the mind of a young child enjoying life without worry.