Breaking the path of illiteracy requires help from everyone

If you are able to read this editorial without much effort, the following fact is probably a surprise to you:

There are about 5,000 in Lycoming County who do not complete the ninth grade of their education. They probably can’t read this editorial nearly as well and even more likely can’t comprehend it.

They probably can’t read a book very effectively. They probably can’t fill out a job application very well.

They might not be able to even read the application form, much less understand what it is asking for.

The result of all that is unemployment and a number of economic and cultural difficulties that ensue.

Linda Herr, director of the Learning Center at the James V. Brown Library, laid out those facts and the accompanying scenario at a recent Williamsport Rotary Club meeting.

To turn the scenario around, the center offers one-on-one tutoring and GED classes, as well as education in job training and how the courses can help bring employment.

We recommend people support these efforts in any way they can – volunteerism, contributions and any small act they can think of to benefit someone in their circle who may fit the illiteracy path.

Reducing the level of illiteracy is one of the best ways to improve the quality of our region.