Literacy skills not only help individuals in their everyday life, but it can strengthen communities as well.
The biggest way literacy skills affect communities is through the economy. Individuals with lower literacy skills can have trouble finding employment because most employees are expected to be able to work efficiently with a team and to communicate with the public. These things require higher literacy skills and take away employment opportunities for those with lower literacy rates. When individuals are not able to find employment, it adds to the unemployment numbers which not only affect the individual negatively but can bring the economy down and lead to higher crime rates. Individuals with higher literacy skills have more educational and employment opportunities.
Another way literacy can help strengthen the community is through politics. It is important for everyone who votes to be well informed about the candidate they are voting for. It is hard for individuals to be well informed if they cannot fully understand the information that is being put out by campaigns. Due to this, individuals with lower literacy skills are less likely to vote.
When adults have strong literacy skills, they can raise children who have strong literacy skills. When parents read to their young children, buy them books, and encourage them to read before starting school they will enter school more prepared. Research has shown that parents who have lower literacy skills do not read to there children as often as parents with stronger literacy skills. Research also shows that these children are less prepared to learn to read when they enter school.
Lastly, strong literacy skills give individuals the tools needed to advocate for themselves and others. Literacy gives people access to information that allows them to be aware of their rights. People who are aware of their rights have a significant role in reducing inequalities such as gender, race, nationality, and religion. As mentioned above this also gives them the information needed to help make sure everyone has the same rights to education, property, employment, health care, legal, and civic participation.