General Information

The National Committee on Education and Literacy, chaired by former First Lady Barbara Bush, reports, “The average new job requires 13.5 years of education; [and] only 27% of all new jobs fall into low skills categories, compared with 40% of jobs prior to 1990…. In a real sense, illiteracy threatens the very health of our nation’s economy and society.”


Statistics show alarming rates of low literacy in Suffolk County. One in seven Suffolk County adults (14%) are functionally illiterate, 75% of unemployed adults are nonreaders and almost 45% of adults living below the poverty level do not possess the basic reading and writing skills to improve their lives and the lives of their families. They have difficulty using the basic reading, writing, speaking and computational skills necessary for functioning in everyday life.

Only 10% of those needing help are getting it!

Why is this?

People with low literacy skills often drop out of school and, therefore, may lack the basic skills needed to adequately provide for themselves and their families. Low literacy has an economic impact on society as well. Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost to industry annually in remedial programs for employees, low productivity, errors and accidents as a result of basic skill deficiencies in workers.

Literacy Suffolk, Inc. is dedicated to providing a variety of literacy services to adults, thereby enabling them to achieve their personal goals. Literacy Suffolk recruits volunteers and trains them to tutor fellow adults in basic language skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking.

Since its inception in 1978, Literacy Suffolk has helped thousands of adults to acquire the skills necessary to realize their potential and become fully participating members of society.
But we need better funding and more volunteers! The waiting list of students in Suffolk County remains consistently at about 500.

We need 2 to 3 hours of your time to help meet this ongoing need. Or, if you can’t give of your time, please consider an online gift to adult literacy today.