It is estimated that Washington DC is home to some 90,000 illiterate adults. To combat this, Thomas Rollins Teaching, responsible for the development of The Great Courses, has entered into a partnership with the Washington Literacy Center. Together, they have aimed to ensure resources and tools to improve literacy are made available for people across the board.
The Great Courses includes over 600 individual courses. All of these will now be available to students and tutors at the Washington Literacy Center. This center has been working on improving levels of adult literacy since 1965. The donation made by Thomas Rollins Teaching includes some 4,000 hours of lectures, streamed through video on demand. It includes a wealth of different topics, including health and wellness, science, history, basic math, vocabulary, and more. The Great Courses also includes digital downloads, CDs, and DVDs. Together with the Washington Literacy Center courses that improve literacy and enjoyment in learning have been specially selected and are recommended to students.
The overarching goal of improving literacy also includes a number of smaller aims, including encouraging people to regain the love of learning. The courses that are offered through Thomas Rollins Teaching not only help to improve literacy, but also a wealth of other functional and academic skills. The National Coalition for Literacy is closely monitoring the project, hoping to see positive results. With some 36 million adults in this country being classed as illiterate, it is hoped that this project may come to serve as an example for many others across the country.
It is hoped that other partnerships that center on members of the community will take note, and encourage people to understand that everyone is a lifelong learner. The Washington Literacy Center has pioneered these initiatives, determined to eradicate illiteracy once and for all. Over the past half a century, they have had impressive results, essentially improving standards across the community. Initiatives like this one have a positive impact on standard of living, wages, employment choices, and even influences the likelihood of the next generation achieving academic success.
There are numerous barriers to education, and these, in turn, lead to significant barriers to employment. The overarching consequence of this is a lower standard of living, as well as less enjoyment in life. Unfortunately, many people are afraid to admit that they are illiterate. It is hoped that this project will address that strongly as well, as adults will be able to not just improve their literacy skills, but also focus on a subject that they enjoy, rather than only learning about the English language.
The project has been welcomed by the community, who have long supported the Washington Literacy Center. The fact that The Great Courses are now added to what this center offers has raised significant interest among the target demographics. It is hoped that, very soon, literacy levels in Washington DC will start to drop. Hopefully, this will then encourage other areas to implement similar projects as well.