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By 2030, Dallas County's population will reach 3.5 million. An estimated one-third of that population will be illiterate.

How many illiterate adults will reside in Dallas in the year 2030?

Over1 Million

Together we can Bend the Trend and put a stop to escalating illiteracy.

Illiteracy is often the result of interrelated factors...

Almost 40% of Dallas County residents speak a language other than English at home. Along with the benefits of having 239 languages spoken here, the infusion of culture also brings lower rates of English language literacy. However, the longer people reside in the U.S. and the more education they receive, the higher their level of English language proficiency. As proficiency increases, new residents are more likely to be civically engaged and self-sufficient.
Over 35% of adults in households who make less than $12,000 per year did not complete high school. A child's ability to read increases if a parent is able to read with them. An average middle income family is able to spend 1,000 hours reading with a child before first grade compared to the fewer than 100 hours an average economically disadvantaged family is able to spend. The literacy gaps created before first grade are increasingly more difficult to close as the child transitions to high school.
The high school drop out rate in Texas is alarming. In Dallas, more than 35% of the population does not have a high school diploma or GED, and half of those individuals read below a basic level.
Learning differences are often undiagnosed and untreated. Studies show that 50% to 80% of students in adult literacy programs have reading-specific learning differences including dyslexia and dysgraphia. On basic tests, adults with these differences have lower than average scores on prose, document and qualitative literacy measures.

and impacts the entire community in many ways.

The leading predictor of early mortality is low health literacy. Individuals who are unable to read have a more difficult time adopting healthy behaviors, researching preventative care, or finding providers for care. These behaviors are exacerbated when the individual has a severe or chronic disease.
Individuals who are illiterate struggle with reading instructions for medical documentation. Misread prescription labels create additional U.S. healthcare costs of $230 billion annually.
Job searching and the modern workplace demands basic literacy skills, including an increasingly specialized vocabulary. An estimated 23% of adults in the U.S. score in the lowest level on national literacy tests. By improving just one literacy level, adults approximately double their average number of weeks worked from 19 to 34 weeks annually.
59% of federal prison inmates either did not complete high school or can be classified as low literate. There is a 70% chance these inmates will return to prison. That number drops dramatically to 16% when they are given literacy training.

Dallas' population is expected to grow by over 1 million people in the next 20 years.

Immigration trends are one of the strongest predictors of illiteracy rates.


The illiteracy rate is projected to grow faster than the population rate.

Today, each percentage point is equal to more than 20,000 people. By 2030, each percentage point is projected to equal more than 40,000 people.

It's Time To
Bend The Trend

Let's reach more learners in more parts of our community and Bend The Trend of escalating illiteracy through these three strategies...


Deliver literacy classes to more people

through strategic partnerships with area nonprofit agencies. LIFT engages other nonprofit organizations that see a need in their population for literacy services. By 2018 LIFT will serve more than 7,000 adults at 21 sites across the Dallas metroplex annually.


Invest in the Dallas workforce

through expanded corporate satellite sites. LIFT works with forward thinking businesses to invest in their employees by delivering on-site literacy instruction. In the next five years LIFT will impact over 20 employers by providing literacy training to at least 11,000 employees.


Strategically grow literacy programs

in areas with greater levels of poverty. Looking to impact the communities experiencing higher levels of illiteracy, LIFT will expand to the highest need communities in Dallas. This will give LIFT the opportunity to reach thousands of people where they live, work, and worship.