International Literacy Day

Buddhist MonkFounded by UNESCO, International Literacy Day on September 8, 2017, draws attention to the importance of a literate public. Workforce, health and civic involvement all depend on much needed literacy skills to navigate today’s complex world. Celebrate International Literacy Day in Portland at the Midland branch of Multnomah County Library on Sept. 9, 2017, from 2:00–4:00 p.m. with a variety of community groups that promote literacy.

United States
More than 36 million Americans struggle to read, write, do math and use technology above the 3rd grade level. The US ranks 16th out of 24 industrialized countries based on mean literacy score. (Statistics from ProLiteracy.)

Oregon
At least 17% of Oregon’s adult population does not have a high school diploma or GED. Adults aged 25–34 are less educated that their parents’ generation, with fewer earning certificates or degrees beyond high school. In Multnomah County, 18.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home and some of these “less than very well”. (Statistics from American Community Survey.)

PCC programs promoting literacy

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
Improves English communication skills of students for whom English is not their native language. Eight ESOL levels serve the needs of adult refugees, immigrants, permanent residents and U.S. citizens. Levels 4–8 also serve the needs of professional personnel working or training in the U.S., international students, and international visitors. Reading, writing, listening, speaking and pronunciation are taught.

Adult basic education (ABE)
Students develop reading, writing, and math skills to prepare for and pass the GED State Exam, enter college, or training programs. The program offers classes in English at four main college campuses, two workforce training centers, online, in county jails and prisons and has family literacy programs in some public schools. The program also offers GED Preparation classes in Spanish at limited locations.

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