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National Literacy Month: Importance of literacy in your community

Posted at 6:51 PM, Nov 01, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- It’s an ability most of us take for granted, but for those who can’t read it can be the ultimate roadblock.

For National Literacy month we’re taking a look into Indiana’s literacy rate and how you can help the kids in your community.

In 2003, the last time adult literacy rates were measured in Indiana, 8 percent of adults did not have basic reading skills.

But in some of the more rural counties in the state, those numbers were much higher with nearly 12-13 percent of adults who did not have basic reading skills.

According to local non-profit Indy Reads, nearly 100,000 adults only have the lowest level of literacy in Marion County.

Stacie Drane, an instructional assistant at Union Elementary School helps young students learn to read.

She said she remembers a time when she their age and couldn’t read either.

“My parents really didn’t have the ability to teach me to read. So I never really had a chance to get to read books or anything actually until the age, I was 12. It was embarrassing, it was very embarrassing for me,” said Drane.

When she was 12, Drane’s grandfather stepped in and she began to catch up. She eventually went on to college and became a first generation college graduate.

“First Book” is a national organization with a chapter right here in Indianapolis that works to get books in the hands of kids in our community.

Taryn stone has been volunteering for “First Book” for the past four years. “There are a lot of families that have made hard decisions about where they live and food so they don’t have, ya know, discretionary money on books.”

You can adopt an entire classroom of kids through “First Book” for around $75. 

Below are some resources to help with literacy in Indiana: