Literacy education info served up with fast food - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Literacy education info served up with fast food

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October 12, 2007

Thomasville--  For many people, learning to read is a step that comes as a small child, and they typically go on through school to get their high school diploma.  But not everyone is so fortunate.

Thomas County Library system Director Nancy Tillinghast says more than a third of the people in the county never graduate high school.  "That is based on someone who is 16 years and older who does not have their high school diploma," she says.

But the Literate Community Program and Southwest Georgia Tech want everyone to know that it's not too late.  "I know its a little awkward after you've been out of school. We've had people who are grandmothers come in and work with their granddaughters," Tillinghast says.

Fast food restaurants in Thomasville are helping get the word out.  Along with the food, they're serving up information about the adult literacy programs offered on placemats given out on every tray.  Tillinghast says, "I think these people are very interested in the community and wanting to, its a very important thing to raise the literacy level in Thomas County."

Tillighast says a major barrier for many people is the idea it will cost them money to go back to school.  "Its free, it doesn's cost them anything to come and take the classes and they can get their GED."

And if the literacy rate improves, its more than the individuals who benefit from it.  "Businesses are looking for an educated work force and if you have an educated one you'll have more businesses coming," says Tillinghast.  And that's an A plus for the whole community.

The only part of those adult literacy classes that costs money is getting your GED. But the rotary club and other organizations are sponsoring scholarships for those who need assistance.

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