It is a milestone year for a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults learn to read.
Literacy Services of Wisconsin formed 50 years ago, and since then, it has helped more than 30,000 people become functionally literate, obtain a G.E.D., or learn English as a second language.
"Small nonprofits really have a long and difficult road in front of them. The fact that this organization has made it 50 years, almost entirely on private support, is pretty remarkable."
According to Duiven, 39% of adults in Wisconsin read at the two lowest measurable levels of literacy and "lack the skills necessary to function at or above a basic level and obtain family-supporting work."
But there is hope.
At Literacy Services' Downtown Milwaukee center, volunteer tutors work with students individually, focusing on areas where they need the most help. They also use an alternative literacy teaching method, the Wilson Reading System, geared toward those with dyslexia or other learning differences.