NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It may sound like a daunting statistic, but in New Haven, 30% of adults struggle to read, according to data from Connecticut’s Department of Education and Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven.
As part of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week, organizations are taking steps to educate and empower people and promote reading for kids and adults.
A free book giveaway at the New Haven Adult and Continuing Education Center helped start the week. New Haven Public Schools donated the books.
“We’re here to address a very alarming issue that one in six adults in our city does not yet have their high school diploma,” said Michelle Bonora, principal of the New Haven Adult and Continuing Education Center.
The staff believes literacy is power because the center provides students with workforce training, college and career opportunities, and a second chance at earning a high school diploma.
“Before, I was going to go back to regular high school, but I was going to have to do a whole year when I only need a few more credits, so here, I should be able to graduate soon,” Nageh Miller said.
Data from the State Department of Education and Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven shows an estimated 225,000 adults in Connecticut do not have a diploma. Adult and Continuing Education Center administrators are working to change that for people worldwide.
“We service students from 83 different countries who speak over 23 different languages, who come through our doors day and night, and in person, virtual options are available,” Bonora said.
Students like Manuella Diaz are scooping up various books and knowledge, putting them on the path to a promising future.
“I am learning a lot every day, every day in the morning,” Diaz said. “It’s a good experience. I am happy here.”