Before I met Deidra Mayberry, I was really in the dark about the disturbing statistics available on the breadth and depth of functional illiteracy among adults in this country. As Deidra puts it…
In a matter of just one day, people go from children who struggle with reading to adults who struggle with reading.
That makes sense because one day you are legally considered a child and the next, on your eighteenth birthday, you are suddenly plunged into the world with full adult responsibilities whether you’ve mastered basic literacy skills or not. As a lifelong educator, I’m a little bit embarrassed by how unaware I’ve been about this particular issue. Deidra cites a disturbing 2020 Forbes article by Michael T. Nietzel that articulates the widespread implications of the problem.
There’s 130 million adults in the U.S. that cannot read above a third grade level.