35 Million Illiterate Adults in the US (Quote)

35 Million Illiterate Adults in the US (Quote)

35 Million Adults Illiterate in the US

“They just reported on NPR that the United States has 35 MILLION adults who are illiterate. 35 million kids were utterly failed by our public school system. Many of them graduated from High School still unable to read above a 3rd grade level, and many read at a 1st grade level as adults with kids of their own.

Let that sink in. It explains so much.

If you can’t read, you aren’t using the internet, nor reading newspapers. How do you get your news and information? From Talk radio and from TV.  35 million adults are held hostage by less-than-reputable information sources. And we wonder why there is pseudo-science, climate change deniers, and fear of people who are different.

32% of illiterate adults, who read below a 4th grade level, are white people born here. Not immigrants. Poor white folks have the highest illiteracy rates in the nation. Think about our elections of late: does that explain so, so much about the fear of ‘Other’ that news outlets are able to spark…the misinformation that people believe… the sense of shame and hate they harbor for educated people lecturing them about science… or human rights? Geez.

This number inspires both compassion and horror. We need to fix this to save our country from more self-destructive elections manipulated by private news corporations- and it’s not the Russians that have caused our illiteracy rates. That’s our own making.”

by Samantha Brooke Reynolds Nuttycombe


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Christine M 6 years ago

    Is there a link to a source? Cannot believe it’s true. Does NPR have a link?

  2. Christine M 6 years ago

    Okay I found the NPR story, you should link to it.
    1. I read a few years ago that one barrier to teaching reading to adults is shame and embarrassment at having to read children’s books. This is seen in the NPR story where the photo shows a man in Maine reading The Little Engine That Could. There are adult topic mature not shameful books to teach adults to read. Why are they shaming this man?
    2. Look at the statistic of 41% HIspanic. There is a great need for ESL teachers in USA. I saw it on the CT alternative teacher certificate list. CT is not friendly to subject matter experts getting a teaching degree EXCEPT their number one sought is ESL Spanish. So people are wanted in that career field. At an info session in Houston TX we were told the highest demans for alt cert program to teach is ESL Spanish.

    Are you feeling called by God to help fix the illiteracy rate by some form of volunteer work? I think you would make a great teacher of reading. You would treat adults with dignity.

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