our impact

"In the United States, an estimated 30 million people over the age of 16 read no better than the average elementary school child. Worldwide, nearly 800 million adults are illiterate in their native languages... Yet the ability to read and write is the basis for all other education; literacy is necessary for an individual to understand information that is out of context, whether written or verbal. Literacy is essential if we are to eradicate poverty at home and abroad, improve infant mortality rates, address gender inequality, and create sustainable development. Without literacy skills... today's adults will struggle to take part in the world around them and fail to reach their full potential as parents, community members, and employees." (Proliteracy.org)

Literacy Volunteers of Eastern Connecticut provides a vital service to adults, who, in turn, contribute back to Eastern Connecticut as taxpayers, citizens, consumers, parents of schoolchildren and stable, participating residents. This saves dollars that would otherwise be spent on public assistance, health care, job training, and social services. As important, more productive and involved residents improve the quality of life and vitality of the communities and workplaces in which they live and work.Volunteers are the heart of the program of Literacy Volunteers of Eastern Connecticut, and it is because of these extraordinary and committed individuals that LVEC is able to provide such a scope of services at no cost to our Learners.

Adults need strong literacy skills...

... to raise children who have strong literacy skills
... to be good employees
... to keep themselves and their families healthy
... to be active in their communities
... to advocate for themselves and to avoid human rights abuse
... to avoid crime


improved literacy benefits everyone

THE COMMUNITY benefits because for every $1 invested in literacy programs in US the yield is $31 benefit to the overall economy.  (A.T. Kearney Analysis, 11/99).  Incarcerated adults are three times as likely as the general population to have low literacy.  (Movement for Canadian Literacy, 11/1/01)

EMPLOYERS benefit with increased customer service satisfaction: For every 1% increase in service level, there is a 2% increase in revenue for a firm.  This means that if a $1 million/year business increases customer satisfaction from 80% to 85%, there is an additional $100,000/year yield in revenue.  (Primal Leadership; Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis)

ADULT LEARNERS benefit because they improve their employment status: “People with poor literacy skills who do not access the help they need are more likely to be unemployed, work in lower-paying jobs and live in low-income households.  The unemployment rate for people in the lowest literacy level is 26% compared with 4% for those at the highest levels.” Earnings rise with their literacy rate.  Even just a 2% increase in wages and earnings means a 1.8 % increase in government revenue.

They improve their health and that of their families: Annual health costs for those with low literacy is $12,974  vs. $2,969 annually for the general population. (AMA)  The likelihood of hospitalization is twice as high for low literacy adults. (Canadian Council on Scientific Affairs)

Nearly half (43%) of adults at Level 1 (lowest) literacy live in poverty.  Three of four food stamp recipients are at the two lowest literacy levels.  Adults at the lowest literacy level worked an average of 19 weeks per year vs. 44 weeks for those at Level 5 (highest) literacy.  (National Institute for Literacy)

YOU benefit because volunteering is one of the best ways to feel good and influence your own health and well-being!          

Literacy Volunteers