The Georgia Literacy Commission (GLC) was formed after a Deloitte study revealed the potential crisis looming for Georgia’s businesses that are struggling to identify an educated and literate workforce for jobs now and in the future.
- The study found 1 in every 6 workers in the state is “low literate,” or can’t read well.
- Over one million Georgians lack basic literacy skills.
- Low literacy in the workplace costs Georgians $1.3 billion annually.
As a result, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, and Literacy For All have partnered to create the GLC. A subcommittee, the Housing Authority Literacy Taskforce, was formed to create a toolkit that housing authorities, private developers, landlords and apartment communities can use to boost literacy among their residents. Star-C’s executive director, Audrea Rease, and a very active board member, Dan Smith, are on the task force to share best practices and determine strategies landlords can leverage. The tool kit will provide communities with several ways to improve literacy through certain programs that serve financially disadvantaged families. Star-C and Willow will be used as a model in the toolkit. Star-C and Willow have already shown how operating an after-school program such as ours can reduce turnover, increase educational achievement outcomes, improve school district ratings, all while the community provides rental rate stability for residents. This team has hopes that literacy tool kit will impact the lives of both landlords and the residents, as a result creating success stories, funding models, suggested practices, sample programs and ideas on how to get the program started in communities around the state.