About Read Write Now
A new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2019) has found, “...more than one in five Australians can at most complete very simple reading or mathematical tasks...". The Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey (2006) showed that 46.8% of the adult population have low literacy levels.
Low literacy levels can restrict adults to low paying jobs and limit opportunities for training or promotion. Perpetuating cycles of low literacy in families can also occur, along with social exclusion as they try to hide this problem from others. The fear of having illiteracy discovered is almost crippling for some adults. Typically they are reluctant to cross the threshold into a formal education institution, as they associate their sense of failure with the school system.
This is where Read Write Now provides a softer option. Volunteer tutors work one-on-one in an informal setting such as a private space in a local library, community centre or coffee shop. The weekly hour and a half session is spent on individual learning programs developed jointly by the tutor and student to meet the goals of the adult student. Tutors rebuild the confidence of the student in their ability to learn and help them to overcome the shame they often feel.
Read Write Now changes lives through literacy
It is not just the thousands of individuals who have sought help who benefit - it is their children, their employers, the local community, the WA economy and ultimately society as a whole. Higher levels of literacy build the social capital of communities, leading to greater participation and community resilience.
Currently the Program operates in 18 regions throughout the state, including the Perth metropolitan area and regional centres Albany, Avon, Bunbury, Collie, Esperance and Katanning. Throughout its history, the Program has also provided services in a number of other regional centres.
Over 40 years, Read Write Now has brought literacy to West Australians far and wide.