United Way of Greater Knoxville promoting literacy in East Tennessee

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March is National Reading Month and in honor of this, United Way is working to promote literacy in our area. 

Brewton Couch, vice president of branding and messaging from United Way of Greater Knoxville stopped by the WATE 6 On Your Side newsroom studio to talk more about the organization’s efforts. 

“Part of the reason we are focusing on this area is because one in 10 adults in Knox County are functionally illiterate,” Couch said. “We can improve the literacy rates in Knoxville starting in our own homes. Reading out loud to a young child prepares them to learn language. It also improves their social-emotional development.”

Literacy impacts more than just education and learning – it can also impact a person’s future. Couch saying statistically, adults who are not as literate do not complete high school. 

“This creates a financial disadvantage for life, because adults that obtain a GED make about $10,000 more per year than those that do not,” she said. 

To help continue to champion literacy, United Way of Greater Knoxville supports many programs that improve literacy for every stage of life: 

  1. Newborns up to 5 year olds receive books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination library
  2. YWCA assists with homework through their Educating Youth Program
  3. Thrive Lonsdale has tutors that help kids with their homework and responsibility
  4. ELL students are ready to enter KCPS thanks to the work of Centro Hispano
  5. Emerald Youth Foundation provides tutoring for at risk youth.
  6. Adults learn to read with Friends of Literacy.

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