SALT LAKE CITY, May 19th, 2018 – Live Literately, a non-profit seeking to foster a love for reading, formally launched today. Founded by David Michael Hamilton, with the support of his executive board, Live Literately will work with volunteers around the globe to provide reading programs aimed at promoting literacy among children through community volunteer reading programs, remedial reading programs, tutoring, and workplace literacy for adults.
On launch, Live Literately has already partnered with over 70 affiliates comprised of industry professionals including authors, book bloggers, photographers, cover designers, and editors. In addition to affiliates who provide professional and financial support to the non-profit, Live Literately has already networked with 64 volunteers preparing to operate free monthly literacy programs in 6 countries including the U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia.
According to a publication by the National Center for Education Statistics based on information gathered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 12% of adults in the United States alone lack basic competency in document literacy (job applications, work contracts, insurance information, etc.) Research also shows 22% of adults have below basic competency in quantitative literacy, struggling to understand the meaning of words even when they can read them.
“This problem is very real and very much ignored,” says founder and executive director David Michael Hamilton. “Partially because somebody who struggles with literacy isn’t likely to tell you about it. They don’t want the people closest to them to think less of them. I didn’t discover my mother’s extreme struggle with reading until I was 21 years old.”
Numerous hurdles exist preventing children and adults from becoming fluent in both reading and writing. Factors like learning disabilities, a lack of literature, underfunding in schools, difficult living conditions, poverty, and parents with little schooling all contribute children and adolescents falling through the cracks and being left behind.
Live Literately’s vision is to provide the gift of literacy to children as well as adults, working with a network of affiliates and professionals to host creative writing workshops, tutoring, and even the elements of cover design and publication to further grow a love for books in people of all ages.
“We realize the importance of adult literacy as well,” says Hamilton. “Reading and comprehending what you read is necessary for completing job applications, understanding employee handbooks and career progression. More importantly, when we can foster a love for reading in adults it’s more likely to be passed on to their children. 32 million Americans, 757 million adults globally can’t read and write. This is absolutely unacceptable. We’ll do everything in our power to lower that number.”
The founding team and board of directors is comprised of 7 individuals (including Hamilton) with decades of experience in multiple contexts, including roles as authors, educators, mental health leaders, law, and information technology. These perspectives enable the Live Literately team to bring experience, contextual understanding, empathy, and a breadth of skill to take action and effectively deploy the organizations programs in key geographic locations through the first year.
For more information visit www.LiveLiterately.org