WATERTOWN — Literacy of Northern New York is encouraging the public to participate in the “Stop Reading Challenge” on Wednesday, Sept. 8, which is International Literacy Day.
The Stop Reading Challenge was created by Literacy New York, a Buffalo-based nonprofit that has worked to improve adult literacy for nearly 50 years and which has benefitted the lives of thousands of New Yorkers in the process.
The purpose of the challenge is to raise awareness about the 3.4 million New Yorkers who lack a high school diploma and/or have limited English language skills. In Jefferson County, 7,623 adults do not have a high school diploma and 4,523 people in the community were born in other countries, according to U.S. Census data. Literacy New York says that adults with low literacy skills are twice as likely to be unemployed, three times more likely to live in poverty and four times as likely to be in poor health.
The literacy challenge is to stop reading for 5 minutes on Sept. 8. It may sound easy, but it’s not. Everywhere you look, there’s something with words on it and literate people read them automatically because they can. If people fail the challenge, Literacy New York asks them to donate $5 to support adult literacy programs in New York State. People can share successes or failures on social media by tagging the posts with -StopReadingChallenge!
Literacy of Northern NY is a nonprofit organization that provides free, one-to-one tutoring in Jefferson and Lewis counties to adults 16 and older who need help with reading, writing, math and English as a second language. The organization offers free classroom instruction in Watertown and Fort Drum to adults learning to speak and understand English better. LNNY trains volunteers to work with adults who need help with literacy skills. All students are assessed with standardized tests.
The organization provides the books and materials used by tutors and students. For more information about its programs, call us at 315-782-4270 or visit us on the web at www.literacynny.org