Literacy Connects is a local organization that emerged in July 2011, after five literacy organizations merged. What drove the merger was the common understanding that if there is ever going to be a control of the literacy problem in the community and beyond, a broader spectrum of people and children affected needs to be targeted.

Betty Stauffer, executive director of Literacy Connects, said there have been studies that one of the greatest indicator, or perhaps the greater indicator, of child's success in school is the education level of the child's primary caretaker.

"Another study that has been done by an adult education researcher, showed that when the adults in the home are actively engaged in their own learning, and the kids see that, the children's performance at school increase 100 percent at a time," Stauffer explained.

This is commonly referred to as "double duty dollar," which means that when there is investment in adult education, such investment is also helping improve kids' education; people's dollars are aiding two things.

Illiteracy leads to many problems, including the inability to get a job, which would then possibly lead to homelessness. When Stauffer lived in northeast Ohio, she worked with the homeless population.

"The joy of what Literacy Connects does is it is working at that root cause level, so that hopefully people don't become homeless," she said.

The organization has various programs for children to understand the importance of reading, and feel motivated to read and write at home and at school. Also, they provide an adult program that helps people, many whose first language is not English, improve their spoken, written, reading English skills.

American Graduate segments were produced in corporation with Tucson Values Teachers.

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