Millions of adults living in the United States struggle with basic literacy skills. Literacy Partners believes that literacy is more than just reading and writing: literacy encompasses technological skills, as well as knowledge of health and personal finances.

Did you realize that over 2 million New York City residents are functionally illiterate? That’s 25% of the total population in the city. Imagine if one quarter of your family couldn’t read. Illiteracy could lead to:

  • Administering the wrong prescription drugs to a sick child
  • The inability to acquire credit or a bank account for financial security
  • A parent not being able to help a child with homework
  • Grandparents being prevented from picking a child up from school because they can’t read street signs or navigate public transportation

Illiteracy Is Costly

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Illiteracy Goes Beyond The Individual

The epidemic of illiteracy makes society suffer from clear financial burdens and losses. The US loses billions of dollars every year because of low productivity in the workforce, high unemployment rates, Medicaid costs, the cost of food stamps and expenses associated with providing subsidized housing. Both taxpayers and the government spend more because of illiteracy.

What’s equally or more profound is the human cost to families and communities where illiteracy is the norm, rather than the exception. Interpersonal relationships among family and community members where there are high rates of illiteracy are dauntingly less rewarding and less healthy than in communities where educational levels are higher.

Illiteracy Goes Beyond Reading & Writing

carlos and woman rs Illiteracy is about more than the inability to read. Literacy Partners goes beyond teaching just basic reading and writing skills.

  • We prepare students for their HSE.
  • We teach English to speakers of other languages.
  • We teach financial and health literacy.
  • We strive not just to educate, but to empower our students and enrich their lives.

Each and every student receives all the support services they need to succeed – not just in our program, but in life.

What Can You Do?

For 40 years Literacy Partners has been on a crusade to eliminate illiteracy in NYC and the damaging and pervasive effects it has on individuals and their communities.

Here’s what you can do right now:

  • Make a financial contribution to help fight illiteracy.
  • Learn more about illiteracy and how you can help.
  • Your donation, at any level, will have a direct and strong impact on an individual’s life.

    Consider this your opportunity to become part of something greater than yourself that will benefit not just one person’s life, but that person’s family and the community-at-large.

    There’s no better way to convey how important you are to Literacy Partners’ cause than to quote one of our students, Charlene:

    “I celebrate life today and everyday with hope that my accomplishments will help to lift others to get their education. I feel successful with the help of Literacy Partners being in my corner. Thanks to this experience, I’m not just living day to day; my life has become a journey with a purpose.”


    Educating thousands of New York City adults every year,
    Literacy Partners won’t stop until every adult can read this.