● According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the illiteracy rate for Baldwin County is 11%. This means that 12,923 people in Baldwin County cannot use printed and written information to adequately function at home, in the workplace, and in the community.
● According to the National Rural Health Association, 12% or 15,094 Baldwin County people age 25+ have no type of high-school diploma.
● According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 5.4% of Baldwin County homes speak a language other than English. It is most likely higher in 2016.
● Children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. These children are more likely to get poor grades, display behavioral problems, have high absentee rates, repeat school years, or drop out.
● 43% of adults with the lowest literacy levels live in poverty and 70% of adult welfare recipients have low literacy levels. There is a clear correlation between more education and higher earnings, and between higher educational scores and higher earnings.
● An excess of $232 billion a year in health-care costs is linked to low adult literacy. Nearly half of American adults have difficulty understanding and using health information. Lack of understanding impedes adults’ abilities to make appropriate health decisions and increased the likelihood that they’ll incur higher health costs.
● Individuals at the lowest literacy and numeracy levels have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average. Low literacy costs the United States of America at least $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.
● Every year, one in six young adults — more that 1.2 million — drop out of high school. Recent data show that nearly 30 percent of adults with household incomes at or below the federal poverty line do not have a high-school credential. The key to financial success is a viable career path and adequate education to seek meaningful, family-supporting wages. The value to our economy in additional wages and the reduction in costs for various support programs is estimated at more than $200 billion a year.
● About 50 percent of the 2 million immigrants that come to the United States each year lack high-school education and proficient English language skills. This severely limits their access to jobs, college and citizenship and increased their vulnerability to living in poverty.
● 75% of state prison inmates did not complete high school or can be classified as low literate. 95% of those incarcerated are reintegrated into our communities. Research shows that inmates who are educated are 43% less likely to return to prison.
● Parents who improve their education, obtaining a GED or high-school diploma, have children who show improvement in school and are more likely to stay in school.
● The first 3 years in a child’s life is when most of brain development occurs. It is critical to the future of little children that parents talk with them, read to them, and put them in situations where they can learn about the world around them. This gives them the vocabulary necessary to be successful in school.
● The reading level of third-graders predicts the ultimate learning success for all children.