Advocate for

Adult Literacy

Your voice is critical in ensuring effective Adult Education policies.
Learn more about current issues and ways you can take immediate action.


Key Issues

Adult Learners in Philadelphia Need Your Help!

A 2020 National Center for Education Statistic (NCES) study shows over 50% of adults in Philadelphia read and comprehend at a 5th grade level or below and require further education and training in order to enter the workforce.

The Need

Adult education programs, like BeLit, are a second chance at a first-rate education.

Here are the facts:

  • 29% of Pennsylvania’s working-age adults lack basic literacy and/or numeracy skills needed for work, family, and community life.
  • Nearly 650,00 PA adults between ages 18-64 do not have a high school credential.
  • Nearly 400,00 PA adults between ages 18-64 have only an 8th grade education or less.
  • Nearly 390,000 PA adults between ages 18-64 speak very limited or no English.
  • In the last 5 years, more than 68K students dropped out of high school. We expect COVID-19 has exacerbated this “Academic Pandemic” stop-out rate; these students require functional literacy upskilling to gain and sustain living-wage employment.

Download BeLit’s Chief Program & Impact Officer, Dawn Hannah’s, Testimony on the critical need for increased funding or click Watch to view her testimony.

    Take Action

    Adult Literacy In America

    Literacy is a fundamental right and non-partisan issue. For millions of Americans, adult education programs can make the difference between earning a family-sustaining wage and struggling to make ends meet. According to the Department of Education, at current funding levels, adult education programs reach less than one million Americans out of 43 million adults that are low-skilled in literacy and 63 million that are low-skilled in numeracy.

    In an effort to address the long-standing adult education crisis affecting quality of life for individuals and their families and holding our economy back, a study commissioned by the Barbara Bush Foundation estimates that getting all American adults to the equivalent of a sixth-grade reading level would add $2.2 trillion to the country’s annual income. Without the opportunities provided by adult education programs, like numeracy, literacy, digital literacy, English language skills, soft skills, work readiness, high school equivalency, and other wraparound services, many adults will be left on the sidelines of an economy that needs more qualified workers in order to grow.  

    Please urge your local legislators to increase funding and support for the adult education profession and help Beyond Literacy to improve the lives and opportunities for thousands of adult learners in the greater Philadelphia region.


    Changing Lives Through Literacy

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