Imagine the sense of frustration, embarrassment, shame, and isolation a person must feel when he or she is unable to complete a job application, read a newspaper, search the phone book, read to his or her child, or even understand the directions on a prescription medication bottle. This is a reality for a shocking number of people in our population. According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 15% or 150,000 Mainers are functioning at the lowest levels of literacy (Level I). In Bangor alone, 37% of its population is operating at the two lowest reading and comprehension levels (Levels I and II). This places this population at a significant disadvantage since they do not have the full range of economic, social or personal options that are open to those with higher literacy levels. Statistics show that adult literacy has strong links to parenting ability, criminal activity, poor health, and poverty. The likelihood of being on welfare goes up as literacy levels go down. Literacy Volunteers of Bangor aims to improve individuals' and their families lives through improved literacy potential.
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