All is not well in American education. A significant number of citizens are illiterate or functionally illiterate. High school dropouts are swelling the ranks at an alarming rate. Those who are illiterate often find themselves involved in a life of crime or on the public welfare, costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars annually. Of the 3.8 million in Los Angeles County that are functionally illiterate, only ten percent enrolled in literacy classes and half of those dropped out within three weeks.
Hollywood Education & Literacy Project (H.E.L.P.) has the requisite tools and a plan to turn the situation around. Education rests on a student’s ability to learn. H.E.L.P. specializes in educating people in how to learn. The tools are simple to grasp, exact in their application and work every time! H.E.L.P.’s perspective and experience forces us to conclude that the definition of literacy has to be extended to encompass learning how to learn. It is this lack of training in the fundamental studentship skill that is responsible for the horrific state of education throughout the country.
Rudimentary daily skills require a person to be able to read and understand basic texts, function in the workplace, pay bills, understand legal and financial documents and navigate technology. However, advanced reading comprehension skills are required to pursue postsecondary education and the opportunities that come with it. The reality is America has a large number of citizens whose literacy skills are too low to perform normal, day-to-day tasks. Their opportunities in life are enormously reduced.
Illiteracy is an insidious killer of a nation. Without the ability to read, write, do fundamental mathematics, and study (i.e., learning how to learn) almost all doors of opportunity are closed shut. To make matters worse, no workable solutions seem imminent. Into this gap, H.E.L.P. brings hope and a proven workable answer.
H.E.L.P.’s mission is to eradicate illiteracy. This, by necessity, must include introducing learning how to learn into national education. In terms of the current illiteracy crisis, our strategy is preventative and remedial. Our preventative measure is to stem the tide of would-be dropouts by certifying as many students as possible in the greater Los Angeles area as Competent Independent Learners, reducing their vulnerability to a non-optimum educational system.
H.E.L.P.’s role in changing this decay in literacy:
- H.E.L.P. provides its tutor training service, which includes learning how to learn as well as the traditional reading, writing and basic mathematics, to all those organizations that cater to raising the functionally illiterate to being proficient.
- H.E.L.P. offers its literacy program through local existing tutoring groups throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
- H.E.L.P. offers its literacy program through the community services channel of the California community college system.
- H.E.L.P. partners with various community-based, social-betterment groups that are striving to handle education in their area. It is foreseeable, that such a multi-fold grassroots strategy would catalyze a groundswell of demand for integrating learning how to learn into public education.