A Rally for Change and Equity: Closing the Adult Literacy Gap – Digital Promise

A Rally for Change and Equity: Closing the Adult Literacy Gap

September 21, 2023 | By

According to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Education, 54 percent of American adults from the ages of 16 to 74 read below a sixth-grade level. Beyond presenting challenges in reading and comprehension for millions of adult learners in our country, literacy skills have been shown to directly correlate with factors that impact family survival, like household income.

Digital literacy is fundamental to our professional and personal lives. Digital Promise’s Adult Learning team is actively engaged in addressing these gaps by intentionally building bridges between the K-12 system and what comes next, no matter what pathway learners may choose. Digital Promise’s resource, Promoting Digital Literacy for Adult Learners, offers research-based guidance on supporting and coaching adult learners in developing and applying digital skills. Resources like this aren’t possible without actively engaging in partnerships with other champions for systems change who also deeply care about closing these gaps.

The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) is one of those partners. They are a powerful organization whose mission is to “inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive.” COABE provides amazing opportunities for professional development and advocacy for champions in the education system rooted in civic engagement and cultural competency, supporting teachers, administrators, system partners, and learners to bolster equitable community representation.

At Digital Promise, we’re grateful for partners like COABE. Their impact is undeniable, and they certainly support our progress in making education more innovative and equitable. Every September, COABE hosts Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. This in-person and virtual event provides countless opportunities to engage with national efforts to address the literacy gaps that keep millions of families from thriving.

Engagement opportunities include a social media campaign, daily podcast episodes, and dialogues with subject matter experts on topics like high school equivalency (HSE) credentials and AI in Adult Education. We hope you’ll join us for this year’s incredible events, and tune in next month for our highlights, lessons learned, and innovations to come. Check out the main events page for more information and to register for events.

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