Northwest NEWS

August 10, 1998


Illiteracy is a problem that needs help

   Illiteracy is a problem all over Washington, but King County has the highest number of functionally illiterate adults of all 39 counties. In Washington there are 541,235 adults who are functionally illiterate. According to the 1990 census figures, that is about 15% of the population 18 and over.
   Of all the people in Washington who are functionally illiterate, 175,086 (33%) are from King County, and 50,484 (9%) are from Snohomish County.
   I realized illiteracy was a huge problem in our county when doing my ninth grade project on this topic. To prevent illiteracy from happening we need to read to our children and emphasize how important it is for them to read. I think this will help with literacy in the future.
   If you know someone who is illiterate, you can help them or encourage them to seek help. They can get counseling from a Literacy Council. To find the Literacy Council nearest you, call 1-800-323-2550.
   Allison S. Ryan, Bothell