Literacy volunteers combat poverty and revive hope

NORWICH – With approximately 4,000 adults functionally illiterate in Chenango County, Literacy Volunteers of Chenango County (LVCC) is working hard to affect change amongst individuals and the community.

According to the LVCC website, 42 percent of adults in the county have some type of challenge with writing, basic reading and math. LVCC's mission is to help adults by improving these skill sets so they can become more active and successful leaders in their families and communities. Clear connections between illiteracy and poverty have been made, which is why there is such a focus on helping adults in the county gain these very important and basic skills.

“It's individuals at or below the poverty level and they have so many barriers,” said JoAnn Kishbaugh, Program Director of LVCC, when asked about the demographics of LVCC's students. “There needs to be a safe place for them to come to. The lack of literacy impacts every aspect of their life.”

Connie Dalrymple, Director of Guernsey Memorial Library, shared this viewpoint. “Literacy is one of the number one predictors of employment and income,” she said. She went on to explain that the library encourages literacy through computer literacy classes, reading hours for children and by offering materials at different reading levels.

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