What's New at PA Forward®

Keystone Scholars and the PA Library Association

The PAForward™ Program of the Pennsylvania Library Association through its ongoing partnership with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department’s Keystone Scholars program […]

Read More

Pennsylvania Library Association

Pennsylvania Library Association 2021 Conference & Expo – Welcome, Neighbor! The Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) is the oldest professional library […]

Read More

Covid Resource Library

We invite you to download and share the following COVID-19 communication materials.  Scroll down for a collection of our latest […]

Read More

Basic Literacy

How is basic literacy defined?

Developing foundational competency including reading, writing, math, job application assistance, and overall life-skill development. Also includes STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) knowledge building on basic skills and concepts.

A child who can read by the third grade is unlikely to ever be involved with the criminal justice system.

A child who can read by the third grade is unlikely to ever be involved with the criminal justice system.

Storytime-at-Nursery

In preschool, children listening to stories is positively associated with activation of brain areas supporting mental imagery and narrative comprehension, regardless of household income.

Higher levels of inequality in literacy and numeracy skills are associated with greater inequality in the distribution of income.

children-opening-food-box
girl-building-robot

Each year, low literacy costs the U.S. $225 billion or more in non-productivity in the workforce, with crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.

In all countries, individuals who score at lower levels of proficiency in literacy are more likely than those with higher proficiency to report poor health, believe that they have little to no impact on the political process, and not participate in associative or volunteer activities.

Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their children.

Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their children.

By the Numbers

  • 86% of 3-5 year-olds (not yet in Kindergarten) are told a story by a family member weekly.
  • 55% are read to daily.
  • 95% are taught letters, words, or numbers.
  • 85% of all youth in the Juvenile Court System are functionally illiterate.
  • More than 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.