by Nathan Imig
June 18 2012
June 18 2012
Nearly one fifth of adults in the City of Milwaukee are considered "functionally illiterate." That’s according to Milwaukee Achiever Adult Literacy services.
Tracy Loken-Weber is the executive director at Milwaukee Achiever, and she says it’s a staggering figure.
“That’s 157,000 people just in the City of Milwaukee who cannot read,” she said. “That means they cannot read a bus map. They cannot balance a checkbook. They're unable to read prescription medication labels.”
To combat the issue, Adult Literacy offers classes teaching basic reading skills. Since 1983, the center has helped 20,000 people learn to read, Loken-Weber says.
Beyond reading, the center also teaches adult learners everyday skills to become functionally literate. This includes math, citizenship training, English as a second language, GED education, and financial literacy.
Loken-Weber says Milwaukee Achiever helps learners from various backgrounds and needs. She says the center teaches a nationally accredited curriculum, helping adults turn their lives around.
Because its educator staff is mostly volunteer-based, Milwaukee Achiever is able to keep costs at a nearly non-existent level. Educators receive formal education in the curriculum then work with adult learners one-on-one to help them improve basic skills.
“We have individuals who have graduated high school, but come to us at a first-grade reading level who need the basics. It’s not just the gift of being able to read. It’s a little bit of everything to function in today’s society,” Loken-Weber said.
To become a volunteer, or for more information on adult literacy, visit Milwaukee Achiever's website or call (414) 463-7389.
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