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North Country Public Radio will explore literacy and illiteracy in the North Country in a week long series beginning January 14.

The most recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Education show that over 20 percent of American adults have the lowest level of literacy skills measured - perhaps they can fill out a deposit slip at a bank. Another 30 percent are at the next level - they can, perhaps, fill out a simple survey, or read a street map.

The Department of Education is changing the way it looks at illiteracy among American adults, but the numbers are alarming, no matter how you add them up. And numbers in the North Country mirror those of the nation as a whole. What are the costs of illiteracy, for individuals, and the larger community? Why do so many of us struggle with illiteracy? And what can be done?

North Country Public Radio will examine what literacy is, how it's achieved, why it isn't, and the impact illiteracy has on our region and people. The series will focus on:

Listen the week of January 14 for news features, commentaries, and interviews, airing during the regional news hour beginning at 8am and repeated at Noon. Then share your thoughts and concerns during a Thursday evening call-in, January 17, 2002 at 7:00 pm.

Major funding for this series on literacy in the North Country is provided by the SUNY Potsdam School of Education. In addition, SUNY Potsdam provided funding for a CD compilation of the features that will be available in libraries around the region and by request after the series is complete.

Photos and audio of Literacy series.

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