Ways to Help Combat Literacy Problems

In the 21st century, literacy shouldn't still be an issue in the developed world. Yet there is still a significant number of people who have poor reading and writing skills, and it's a difficult problem to solve. Unfortunately, the plight of people who struggle with literacy isn't always given as much attention as other social issues.

It's not just a case of losing out on enjoying books, either. An inability to read and write causes many additional difficulties, including reduced employment opportunities, a higher probability of involvement in crime and even increased health risks. It's also something that could have repercussions for future generations.

If you want to help, there are a few ways you can do your bit. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Donate to a charity

There are various charities dedicated to helping children and adults gain literacy skills and, like any charity, they're always in need of extra funding. The simplest way to help out is to donate money to a literacy charity, either as a regular payment or whenever you can spare some.

Every extra dollar helps literacy charities to buy books and other equipment, and to get out there and help people.

Volunteer your time

If you want to get more involved than giving financial help, you might be able to do some volunteer work. This could take many forms, as charities need assistance with their day-to-day running as well as actually teaching people literacy skills.

You might be particularly sought-after if you have teaching experience, but charities are sometimes as desperate for people to help in any way as they are for more money.

Donate books

Suitable books are always needed for people to learn to read, especially age-appropriate children's titles. If you have any going spare, or you're interested in buying some specifically for donation, the easiest way to get them into the right hands is through a charity.

If you're going to buy books to donate, it might be worth asking a charity for advice on specific titles before you purchase them.

Look out for people and areas in need of help

If literacy charities don't know about people who need their help, there's nothing they can do. You might know of a specific community, family or geographical area where people are struggling with their literacy. Getting in touch with a charity means they can assess the situation and find out if there's anything they can do to help, so give them a call if you want to discuss it with them.