Rotary Club of Fort Worth Launches a Literacy Initiative Focused on Workplace Literacy
During a strategic planning retreat in 2008, Rotary board members discussed ways in which the Rotary Club of Fort Worth could increase the effectiveness of its community service activities, perhaps by focusing club members’ volunteer time and the Club’s charitable fund resources upon a high-priority community issue.
In light of Rotary International’s priorities, the local United Way’s priorities, the success of the club’s award-winning STARS program, and the club’s historic relationship with the Fort Worth Public Library the board selected literacy as the issue to address.
As the focus has been sharpened and a coherent strategy has been formulated through efforts of a literacy committee, the Club has chosen to address workplace literacy in Tarrant County. The Club’s membership represents a significant cross-section of Fort Worth business and civic leaders and as such, it is ideally situated to address this critical issue.
One in five (20%) of Tarrant County adults is functioning below the 4th grade reading level. That means many of them are not able to fill out job applications, apply for a promotion, change to a new job if their job becomes obsolete, read instructions on prescription medication, understand lease agreements they sign or a host of other necessary daily functions that those who can read take for granted.
There are many challenges to face in our effort to improve literacy in the community.