Adult Education and Family Literacy Week underscores Iowa’s needs, opportunities
More than 36 million American adults currently struggle to read, write, do math, and use technology above a third-grade level. These struggles often reach younger generations, since children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves.
To bring awareness to this dilemma, and highlight state and local efforts that help adults achieve the skills and training needed to succeed in college and careers, Congress has recognized the week of Sept. 22-28 as National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.
The week provides the opportunity to highlight the life-changing programs provided through the state’s 15 regional adult education and literacy programs, which are overseen by the Iowa Department of Education. Last year, nearly 12,000 Iowans received low-cost, high-value instruction in adult basic education programs where they could earn a high school credential, develop vocational skills, improve English-speaking skills and continue to further their education and training to meet employer demands and secure living-wage jobs.
These programs are not only life changing for individuals and families, they also benefit our communities and local economies.
This work is also integral to the Future Ready Iowa initiative, which calls for 70 percent of Iowans to have education or training beyond high school by 2025. Iowa will need an additional 57,700 adults with no prior postsecondary education to earn credentials by 2025 to help reach that goal.
To learn more about how Iowa’s Adult Education and Literacy programs help adult learners successfully transition to postsecondary education and employment, visit the Iowa Department of Education's Adult Education and Literacy webpage and Adult Education and Literacy in Iowa fact sheet. In addition, the Your Future Starts Here website features student success stories and provides resources to help Iowans start the path to earning high school equivalency diplomas, head to college or launch their careers.
Use the #AEFLWeek hashtag to raise your community’s awareness about the importance of adult education and encourage those in need of services to reach out to one of Iowa’s 15 community college providers of adult education and literacy programs.