Low literacy contributes to many social issues

Crime, poverty, health, unemployment, school readiness. Every important social issue faced in the community is impacted by low literacy. Children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves. These children are more likely to get poor grades, display behavioral problems, have high absentee rates, repeat school years or drop out, according to ProLiteracy, a national adult literacy organization.

Thirty-six million adults in the U.S. cannot read, write or do basic math above a third grade level; 43 percent of low literacy adults live in poverty; $225 billion is lost in non-productivity in the workforce, crime and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment; $232 billion in health care costs are linked to low literacy.

A local organization, Literacy Volunteers Association — Cape Atlantic (LVA), provides free services to adults in Atlantic and Cape May counties with a vision to create a culture where 100 percent literacy is the norm. Volunteer tutors provide literacy education for adults to become more successful employees, parents, consumers and citizens.

There are many ways to help. The LVA needs volunteers to tutor students throughout the region. And, the group is currently recruiting board members to help meet its admirable mission. Corporate and individual financial support to fund student materials, tutor training, staff and property expenses is critical to keep program services at current levels.

Kate Gallagher Vesey


Literacy Volunteers Association — Cape Atlantic Inc.

Volunteer board president

Time to begin resisting Trump on environment

The election is over but work to protect the environment is not. There is a president-elect and a tentative appointment to head the Environmental Protection Agency who consider global warming a Chinese hoax.

Foes must not focus on personal attacks, which fueled his election, but on policy. They must support the Paris Agreement target to limit emissions, further restriction of fossil fuel exploration, and renewable energy production that will grow the economy, add jobs and increase competitiveness with China. Supporting these polices would slow down manmade climate change and make air and water cleaner. Becoming involved in environmental groups that address these issues is a way to influence the future on the planet.

Mario L. Maiese


Pitts column showed intolerance and hate

Regarding the Nov. 18 commentary by Leonard Pitts Jr., “Trump must be resisted no matter what he does”:

One needs to look no further than Pitts’ commentary to see the level of contempt, intolerance and hate that is imbedded in liberal socialists. Pitts hurls accusations of racism and sexism, along with every phobia imaginable, at Donald Trump and his supporters. At the same time, he is incapable of recognizing, or accepting, the magnitude of what just took place.

Here’s a revelation for Pitts: Hillary Clinton’s “blue wall” didn’t come crashing down as a result of bigotry or any “ism” he wants to subscribe to it. What caused it was a massive repudiation — by main street America — of President Obama’s socialist progressive agenda. Interesting how Pitts always fails to mention that for some time now, 70 percent of Americans have believed the country has been headed in the wrong direction.

In his never-ending selectivity of vilifying one segment of society while choosing to ignore the transgressions and misdeeds of another, Pitts not only exposes his hypocrisy, but is also guilty of betraying America’s trust and ideals.

I would like to remind him that Barrack Obama eight years go said, “Elections have consequences.” To Pitts I say, suck it up, buttercup, you lost.

Steve Lane

Mays Landing


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