United Way: Literacy key to strong economy

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Higher literacy rates mean more and better job opportunities, a decreased reliance on social services and a brighter future for all. Thanks to United Way of the Lowcountry support, Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry are helping boost literacy rates in Beaufort and Jasper counties, officials said.

Last week, the United Way of the Lowcountry Board of Directors announced gifts and pledges have been received totaling $1,147,704, or 41 percent of the 2012 Fall goal of $2.8 million.

In part due to local adults’ realization that increased basic skills mean better employment opportunities and increased lifetime earnings, Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry has seen an increase of 23 percent in enrollment in its basic literacy programs from January of 2011 to January of 2012.

“Reports show at least 11 percent of Beaufort County residents lack basic literacy skills,” said Nancy Williams of Literacy Volunteers.

For more information, call 843-982-3040 or visit www.uwlowcountry.org.