Posted on Jan 23, 2018
Adult literacy can change everything. Health. Gender equality. Poverty. Every important social issue is impacted by low literacy. When individuals learn how to read, write, do basic math, and use computers, they have the power to lift themselves out of poverty, lower health care costs, find and keep sustainable employment, and ultimately change their lives.
Reach Literacy Center provides individual, group, and workplace literacy tutoring.  The Center is funded entirely through grants, United Way, events, donations, and special events.  There is no cost for the tutoring.  The philosophy of the organization is "Learn to Read.  Read to Learn."
Program Highlights from January 22, 2018

The new Reach Literacy Center opened its doors on January 9, 2018 in the Western Mall. The center provides a place where community members can learn to read and write.  Ultimately, this helps them improve life skills to advance their employment opportunities and lead better lives for themselves and their families.
Currently, 165 individuals are receiving tutoring.  The individuals typically meet with their tutor one to two hours per week in nine-week increments.  

“Our goal has always been to kind of be a one-stop shop,” Executive Director Paige Carda said. “We want people to see what we’re doing on both ends.”

Paige Carda also discussed the impact and scope of the issue by highlighting three important metrics:

• Of adults with the lowest literacy levels, 43 percent live in poverty, and 70% of adult welfare recipients have low literacy levels;

• An excess of $230 billion a year in health care costs is linked to low adult literacy;

• Low literacy costs the U.S. at least $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.
In addition to tutoring, Reach Literacy provides book drives.  To date, over 50,000 books have been donated and given to not only our community, but others across the state, and even in neighboring states.  

Paige Carda is an avid reader and passionate advocate for literacy. She has been the Executive Director at Reach for 5 years, believes strongly in volunteering and the impact it can have on a community. Currently, she volunteers for CASA, Junior Achievement, Girl Scouts, and is President of the History Club. In her spare time, Paige loves to watch her kids’ sports, run, and garden.
Program for January 29, 2018
Robert J. Griggs, President, Southeast Technical Institute