- LIFT will serve at least 8,000 adult learners this year. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and several different countries. The average student is 37 years old and reads at or below a second grade level before entering the LIFT program
- Approximately 59% percent of LIFT students identify as Hispanic, 28% identify as African-American, 3% identify as Anglo, 8% identify as Asian, 2% identify as "Other."
- 66% of LIFT adult learners are female and 34% are male.
- 1 out of every 4 teenagers drops out of high school, and of those who graduate, 1 out of every 4 has the equivalent or less of an 8th grade education.
- According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 42 million adult Americans can't read.
- 50 million people can recognize so few printed words they are limited to a 4th or 5th grade reading level.
- Most people scoring in the lowest 70% on national literacy tests are unemployed.
- According to current estimates, the number of functionally illiterate adults is increasing by approximately two and one quarter million persons each year
||This increasing number of functional illiterate adults includes:
- Nearly 1 million young people who drop out of school before graduation
- 400,000 legal immigrants
- 100,000 refugees
- 800,000 undocumented immigrants
- 20% of all high school graduates.
One estimate places the yearly cost of welfare programs and unemployment compensation due to illiteracy at $6 billion.
The inability to read medical bills adds up to $230 million annually to our country's health costs.
An additional $237 billion dollars a year in unrealized earnings is forfeited by persons who lack basic reading skills, according to Literacy Volunteers of America
The English language contains approximately half a million words. Of these words, about 300 compose nearly three-quarters of the words we use regularly. During the first few years of school children often are taught to memorize these 300 "sight-words" but they are never taught how to unlock the meaning of the other 499,700 or more words.
Reading failure is often revealed after the 4th grade, when the volume of words needed for reading more difficult material in science, literature, history, or math cannot be memorized quickly enough. The damage to children who have not been taught phonics usually lies hidden until they leave the controlled vocabulary of the basal readers, for more difficult books where guessing, or memorizing new words just does not work. The result is that textbooks in the middle and upper grades are "dumbed" down to a fourth or fifth grade reading level