Friends of Literacy

If you could do just one thing,

Improve poverty rates1440440019

75% of Americans who receive food stamps perform at the lowest 2 levels of literacy, and 90% of high school dropouts are on welfare.*

Lower prison recidivism rates

Seventy-five percent of state prison inmates did not complete high school or can be classified as low literate. Ninety-five percent of those incarcerated are reintegrated into our communities. Research shows that inmates who are educated are 43 percent less likely to return to prison.*

Improve employment

Individuals at the lowest literacy and numeracy levels have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average. Low literacy costs the U.S. at least $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.*

Lower healthcare costs

An excess of $230 billion a year in health care costs is linked to low adult literacy. Nearly half of American adults have difficulty understanding and using health information. Lack of understanding impedes adults’ abilities to make appropriate health decisions and increases the likelihood that they’ll incur higher health costs.*

Total percentage of American adults who can’t understand the labels on their prescriptions        46%

When individuals learn how to read, write, do basic math, and use computers, they can escape poverty, manage health care costs, find and keep living-wage employment, and improve their lives in many more ways.*

What could you do?

Make a donation

Mail your donation to ECA Literacy Council, PO Box 1336, Rolla, MO 65402

Serve as a board member

East Central Area Literacy Council is managed by a volunteer board that assists adult education and literacy programs through fundraising and recruiting and training volunteer tutors. Board meeting are held the 4th Tuesday of the month at 4:30 pm. If you are willing to share your time and effort as a member of the board of directors, please contact our executive director, Alice Whalen,

Volunteer as a tutor

No special academic degrees are required to be a tutor.  East Central Area Literacy Council volunteer tutors must:

  1. Complete New Tutor Training at East Central Area Literacy Council (approximately 3 hours – training is free and is scheduled regularly).
  2. Be 18 years of age or older.
  3. Be willing to undergo a criminal background check through Missouri Automated Criminal History System Name Search at and National Sex Offender check at Send an email with the following information to

English Language/Citizenship TutorHigh School Equivalency TutorBoard MemberPR and MarketingAdvocacyCommunity OutreachSpecial Events

High School DiplomaSome CollegeAssociates DegreeBachelors DegreeMasters DegreeDoctoral Degree

Literacy changes lives!

For more information, contact us at 844-322-4235 img_1844

* See more at:



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