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Fast Facts

Literacy Statistics

• South Carolina has the 13th highest rate of functional illiteracy in the United States

• In Beaufort County:

– 11% of adults lack basic prose literacy skills

– 10% lack a high school education

– We have witnessed a 279% increase in the Spanish-speaking population


About The Literacy Center

• The Literacy Center has been in existence since 1973. We are one of the oldest nonprofits in Beaufort County.

• We currently offer classes in seven different locations in Bluffton, Hilton Head and Beaufort.

• The Literacy Center offers programs in Basic Literacy, Pre-GED, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and Citizenship.


Our Students

• For the past five years, we’ve enrolled, on average, over 750 students a year. Currently:

– 35% of our students are enrolled in Basic Literacy or Pre-GED classes

– 65% of our students are enrolled in English Literacy or Citizenship classes

– 65% of our students are female; 35% are male


• Our students are:

– 88% Latino

– 3% African American

– 6% Caucasian

– 3% Asian


• Our students’ ages:

– 16% are 18-24

– 62% are ages 25-44

– 18% are 45–59

– 2% are 60 or older

– Our oldest student is 82 years old. Our youngest student is 18 years old.


• Our students come from:

– 54% Bluffton/Okatie

– 39% Hilton Head Island

– 3% Beaufort/St. Helena/Lady’s Island

– 3% Hardeeville/Ridgeland

– <1% Savannah


• In 2013 – 2014, students from 36 different countries, plus USA and Puerto Rico, attended classes at The Literacy Center.


• The educational level of our students at the time of their enrollment:

a. 56% had not graduated high school

b. 26% had a high school diploma or GED

c. 9% had some college

d. 9% had a college or professional degree


• Last year, 95% of students who attended classes at least 12 hours achieved at least one personally-set goal. Many achieved more than that. These personal goals are the goals that motivate our students to seek our services and improve their lives. Attaining these goals not only impacts an individual student’s life, but can positively influence the lives of their children and families, as well as the community at-large. Here are our results:

– 168 improved their employability skills

– 136 increased their involvement in their children’s educational activities

– 141 attained wellness and healthy lifestyle skills

– 281 increased their involvement in community activities

– 26 got a job or got a better job

– 89 attained improved consumer skills

– 7 obtained their citizenship

– 5 received their GED or other secondary school diploma

– 5 entered other education and/or training

– 5 obtained their driver’s license

– 2 registered to vote for the first time

– 334 attained another personal goal


Our tutors and volunteers

• 138 individuals served as tutors or substitute tutors in our most recent full program year.

• Our tutors go through more than 12 hours of training in adult teaching methodology, plus ongoing in-services. Each tutor makes a tremendous personal commitment to our organization, instructing students for a minimum of 35 weeks a year. Some give even more of their time and talent, extending their commitment through the summer.

• Last year, more than 65 individuals offered other volunteer talent, including event planning, board service, fundraising, general office work and technology help.

• Friends of Literacy, a volunteer group with more than 60 members, help advance our mission by coordinating our signature event, Cooks & Books.

• Last year, volunteers and tutors donated a total of 20,250 hours to our organization!