In the Midlands, the Central Carolina Community Foundation is studying how to reach and serve a vast number of people who cannot read– all in an 11-county area. Only nine percent of that population, ranging from kindergarten to the elderly, is getting help.
Ellen Hinrichs of the non-profit organization says they have brought together everyone involved in literacy— including schools, libraries and state agencies— to take on the task of trying to achieve 100 percent literacy by the year 2030. That means reaching at least 150,000 people who do not know how to read. Read overview and timeline.
In the Literacy 2030 project, the foundation is conducting focus groups and empirical studies now in order have some solutions in place to present to the public in March. How will they make it happen?
“We have the buy in from the service providers. They want this to happen, they want to be a part of this, so they are working every month to make sure that this happens, and they know from their side they see the need,” says Hinrichs. “And they also see the positive of this and that if we work together we might get some more funding into our state. And they are also so passionate about what they do and serving their clients that they want to make this work and see what can happen for South Carolina in the future.”
Hinrichs says all the stakeholders want to see a solution to what has become a burden to the state’s economy. “It is such a huge economic problem for our state to have illiterate citizens. To not have our kids ready to read, to not have our kids reading on grade level, to not have our kids graduate from high school. If I drop out of high school, you pay about an average of 127,000 dollars a year to support me, ” she says.
We asked if this was not a problem to be dealt with by the schools.
AUDIO: Hinrichs responds that the problem is much broader
Is the goal too ambitious, we asked?
AUDIO: Hinrichs on task ahead