WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Adult Literacy

Thirty million Americans struggle with basic reading and math skills, including some 64,000 right here in the District. Illiteracy affects their ability to read an electric bill, make change or even tell where a bus is going. The costs to these individuals -- and society -- are high, both socially and economically. Programs serving adults can make a difference, allowing someone a second chance and often better job prospects, but many programs are oversubscribed. WAMU education reporter Kavitha Cardoza's new radio documentary explores adult literacy in the U.S. and our region.

Volunteer Opportunities With Adult Literacy Programs

Share your time with the Adult Literacy Helpline at D.C. Public Library (202-727-2431). Ask for Ben Merrion, literacy outreach specialist, who can help match people with programs suited to their interests.

Find information about volunteering at the Academy of Hope on their website, or email volunteer coordinator Mary Cabriele at volunteer [at] aohdc [dot] org.

The Literacy Council of Montgomery County and the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia also need volunteer tutors and teachers.

Sample Questions From 2014 GED Test

Test yourself with sample questions from the 2014 GED exam. Start the test.

Adult Literacy Across The United States

Compare adult literacy rates by county and state in this map. Hover over the infographic to see the percent of adults with low literacy living in a U.S. county. Darker shades indicate lower literacy rates. For example, 22 percent of adults in Prince George's County, Md., have low literacy, compared to a statewide rate of 11 percent.


literacy map U.S.

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