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Literacy Scroll will bring attention to adult literacy in Des Moines

The Drake University Adult Literacy Center is helping bring the Declaration for the Right to Literacy Scroll to Des Moines the week of April 9. Drake President David Maxwell and Madeleine Maxwell will sign the Scroll in the President’s Office on April 9.

The scroll’s purpose is to emphasize the significance of literacy as the number one tool to facilitate individual change and to impact community-wide economic prosperity. It has been in more than 30 states and has more than 35,000 signatures. It will be delivered to Washington D.C. later this year. In the U.S., about 30 million adults read at a fifth grade level or lower and an additional 63 million adults read at an eighth grade level or lower.

“Low adult literacy is a hidden issue in our society,” says Anne Murr, coordinator of Drake’s Adult Literacy Center. “This issue not only has a personal impact on those who can’t read, but also an economic impact on all of us.”

In order to raise awareness about adults with low literacy, the scroll will travel around Des Moines. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will sign the scroll on April 12. The Adult Literacy Center and New Readers of Iowa, in conjunction with the Health Literacy Iowa New Readers Conference, are responsible for bringing the scroll to Iowa.

The goal of the Adult Literacy Center is to improve literacy, resulting in enhanced self-esteem, daily living and life-long learning. Utilizing volunteers, the Literacy Center improves the quality of adults’ lives by helping them learn to read, write and comprehend. The Adult Literacy Center has been part of the Drake University School of Education since 1976. The Center is staffed by volunteers from the Drake and greater Des Moines communities who are dedicated to literacy and community outreach.  The Literacy Center serves more than 100 adults each year.

Members of the public are encouraged to sign the Scroll and show their support for adult literacy; to find out more information about where the Scroll will be, visit www.drake.edu/soe/projects/.