It is a wonderful time to reflect as we celebrate the 246th year of American independence. The United States has a rich literary history that is constantly evolving. From the high literacy rates in the original colonies, to a myriad of famous authors, The United States has left its mark on English language literature as a whole.

The history of American literacy started in the 17th century with some of the earliest settlers. Many settlers, particularly the Puritans, placed great importance on literacy. Puritans even went so far as to work towards achieving universal literacy among their population! This led to the American colonies generally having a higher literacy rate than those of seen in England and many other European countries.

As time passed and the United States declared its independence, reading became even more important. Literacy was viewed as a cornerstone of democracy, and the ability to read was said to be integral to the prevention of tyranny. While the ability to read remained important, it was the Industrial Revolution that brough literacy to most Americans. With the arrival of fast paper production and low book prices, reading became the foundation of public education and a popular recreational activity. By the 1920s, some parts of the United States had achieved a 70% literacy

As one of the world’s most literate countries, it is no surprise that reading is an important part of daily life. That is why the Literacy Council is working to provide everyone with the English language skills, family literacy programs, and citizenship classes they need to succeed!

If you know anybody who could benefit from improved English literacy skills, speaking, reading, and or writing, send them to us! We are proud to teach people, families, and help create a stronger community and workforce in Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, LaBelle and beyond.