They never learned to read

Literacy volunteers wanted
By: Linda Frederick Yaffe, Special to the Loomis News
-A +A

For those with low reading skills, the world can be a small, scary place.

Lack of reading skills can be dangerous: if, for example, a person can’t understand a new prescription's written warnings.

A work day can be filled with terror as nonreaders make excuses to keep their supervisors and workmates from learning their embarrassing secret: they never really learned to read.

Surprisingly, one in five Americans whose first language is English cannot read. Twenty-three percent of adult Californians whose first language is English have such poor skills they cannot complete a simple one-page job application.

People who cannot read, along with their families, communities and the nation suffer from the lack of meaningful work and low self-esteem caused by poor reading skills.

Nationally, billions of dollars are lost each year from the unemployment, crime, public assistance and lost tax revenue due to lack of reading skills.

But help is available. Spread the word that reading matters and confidential, one-on-one, free reading help is available through Placer Adult Literacy Service (PALS) by calling  (530) 886-4530 or (530) 320-3267.

Volunteers are always welcome or help by joining the Literacy Support Council of Placer County and become a reading booster who organizes and speaks out for literacy. For more information, email

Reading shapes lives, all day every day, with words that inform, advance and delight.