Today’s word in the 100 Day Challenge is ILLITERACY.

I have written many times that two of the things that are causing the greatest harm to America are drug addiction and the break up of the family. One can argue that illiteracy is not far behind.

Thomas Bloch, former chairman of the board of H & R Block, wrote in his book Stand for the Best, “Socioeconomic factors, including parental involvement and home life, are critical influences in a child’s academic performance. Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in a modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty.”

No long-term escape from poverty is possible without it.

Here are some alarming and troubling statistics about illiteracy, according the

Nearly 800 million people lack basic reading and writing skills. That does not include their families and world they live in.

In social and economic terms — health, crime, welfare, lost earnings, lost productivity, etc. — the global cost of illiteracy is $1.19 TRILLION. In the United States, the figure is roughly $300.8 billion.

People with poos literacy skills are two times as likely to be unemployed.

Forty-three percent of Americans with low literacy skills live in poverty.

Lower proficiency in literacy means the likelihood of poor health.

Between 60 and 80 percent of prisoners in various nations read and write below basic levels.

People who struggle to read and write will face a lifetime of economic challenges.

Today’s Winning Thought: Nearly all of us have some skin in this game. We must do whatever we can to eliminate illiteracy. Literacy is one of our major weapons in breaking the cycle of poverty. It is a war that America must win.

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