In the US, according to the Education Portal:
- 50 percent of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level. …
- 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read. …
- 3 out of 5 people in an American prison can’t read.
- 85 percent of juvenile offenders have problems reading. …
- Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year.
Second, the selfish reason: people who are illiterate can’t read our books. We write books to be read, and the illiteracy rate in the US means half the adults in this country will never even have the chance to read our work.
Shadow Forest Authors, the fellowship of authors and supporters for charity, encourages authors to donate their books to literacy organizations. An author can donate a single copy of a title to one of the organizations supported by Shadow Forest Authors (SFA) and be listed on their site as a contributing author. Others who want to support literacy can adopt an author, purchase a copy of the author’s book, and donate it.
I would like to see a wider selection of literacy organizations, and SFA is open to adding more nonprofits. The organization I have supported locally is currently changing its structure or I would have submitted it to SFA. So I chose an organization in another part of the country and sent a couple copies of Dream or Destiny. Most of the organizations listed mystery as a genre they were seeking.
You can join the cause by suggesting other literacy agencies to SFA and by donating one or more books (either your own or those of an author you adopt).