Adult literacy in the United States is an acute and persistent problem. This is especially true for the District of Columbia. As of 2007, a study by the State Education Office (OSSE) found that DC’s overall functional illiteracy rate was 36 percent. In some neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River the number of struggling readers is even higher.
Low-literacy is a multi-generational phenomenon. Parents who read poorly tend to raise children who read poorly. It is a pillar of poverty. The DC Chamber of Commerce estimates that between 2000 and 2005, the city lost up to $535 million in tax revenue because businesses had to recruit job applicants from outside the city. The area of Washington with the highest rate of functional illiteracy, Ward 8, has also suffered the most from the poor economy. In 2011, Ward 8 had a 35 percent poverty rate and a 25.2 percent unemployment rate.
How To Enroll
District of Columbia adults over the age of 18 who struggle with reading can apply to enter the WLC program by calling 202-387-9029 X 13. You will be asked to leave your name and a phone number on the Intake Voicemail. You can expect a return call the following Friday. The WLC is not the best program for all adults, so we offer referrals to other community reading programs. Our goal is to find the best program to meet your needs.