In the contemporary world, literacy emerges as an indispensable skill, providing individuals with the capacity to comprehend language, navigate written communication, and actively participate in society. The absence of literacy inhibits individuals from fully engaging in educational opportunities, hindering their ability to grasp complex ideas, acquire knowledge, and make such as visual literacy and digital literacy, play equally vital roles. Visual literacy involves interpreting visual cues like maps and diagrams, while digital literacy entails understanding digital devices and accessing online information. Proficiency in these areas not only enhances individual awareness but also augments job prospects.


Recognizing the pivotal role of literacy, numerous organizations allocate resources to boost literacy rates domestically and abroad. Nonprofits initiate initiatives to bring reading materials into communities without access to books, while governments provide subsidies for higher education. The advent of technology has further facilitated learning through the availability of online courses, offering adults, regardless of age or location, the opportunity to enhance their literacy skills.


According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 79% of American adults possess medium to high English literacy skills. This implies that 21%, or approximately 43 million adults, grapple with low literacy skills bordering on illiteracy. These low literacy levels impact the nation significantly, negatively affecting the economy by limiting employment opportunities and decreasing workforce productivity. The estimated annual cost of low literacy in the U.S. is a staggering $2.2 trillion. Beyond economic ramifications, low literacy can lead to political disengagement, increased reliance on social welfare programs, and elevated crime rates. In a global context, the U.S. lags behind other developed nations in literacy rates.


Immigration emerges as a critical factor contributing to literacy challenges in the U.S. Hosting more immigrants than any other nation globally, the literacy rates reveal that 34% of those lacking English proficiency were born outside the country. This trend is particularly evident in states with large immigrant populations, such as California, where over 20% of the population is foreignborn, correlating with lower adult literacy rates.


Children’s literacy rates are equally significant, with 66% of 4th graders in the U.S. reading below proficiency levels in 2013. Children’s low literacy rates can have lasting effects on a nation’s overall health, as a lack of early literacy development may lead to prolonged challenges in adult literacy rates, negatively impacting the nation’s well-being. The disparity in literacy rates across the U.S. is influenced by various factors, including the distribution of powers between federal and state governments and the emphasis on education in specific states. States like Massachusetts, prioritizing education with initiatives like a “millionaire tax” for public education funding, boast high children’s literacy rates. Similarly, New Hampshire, with the highest literacy rates in the country, has actively promoted literacy through various programs.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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