Mary Sanchez’s column “Dropout rate shows it’s not just students failing” (3/24, Opinion) rightfully takes the school system to task for poor academic performance in area schools. Whether or not the school district is entirely to blame, one sad fact is certain: about 250,000 Kansas City adults read below the fifth-grade level and are considered functionally illiterate.
Poor readers who have the courage to step forward and say “I need help” can turn to the remarkable program at Literacy Kansas City, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “literacy for all.” Its unique system of one-to-one, phonetics-based tutoring has so far helped more than 4,000 area adults learn to read. About one half of the students in our program have high school diplomas.
Area illiteracy is one problem you can help solve. Literacy Kansas City is now in critical need of volunteer tutors. If you like to read and want to make a difference in your community, call 816-333-9332 and attend the next volunteer orientation meeting. You have the power to personally help an adult whom the schools — and the system — have failed.
Volunteer tutor, Literacy Kansas City