Eleven million adults in the United States are not literate in English. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14,504 adults in South Dakota speak English "less than very well." The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that 59,722 adults in South Dakota lack basic prose literacy skills.
These numbers continue to grow, and as services are reduced across the state the Literacy Council of the Black Hills is needed more than ever.
Our research and surveying of local students tell us that 42% of students want to improve their ability to read to their children and help with homework, and 37% of our students wish to improve their ability to read healthcare information.
The Literacy Council of the Black Hills experienced a 107% increase in the number of students tutored between 2014-2016. From 2014-2016 our number of students tutored more than doubled (30 to 62) or grew 38% from 2015 to 2016 (46 to 62).
We have trained tutors ready to help increase the literacy rate in the Rapid City area. They donate thousands of hours every year.
Our students work with their tutors to set personal goals such as improving their communication with their children's teachers or getting a driver's license or a job.
From Council-wide initiatives like our Cookbook Project to continuing education for our tutors in our quarterly Tutor Talks, we continually seek to improve our program and respond to the needs of our students.
Our conversation classes were developed as a result of student requests.
The Council seeks to connect with other community organizations and institutions focused on literacy in order to implement worthwhile projects and spread awareness of learning opportunities.