Literacy For All In Ohio!

The Literacy Action Society for Community and School Parents in Ohio will announce their inaugural meeting date and location soon. Issues addressed will be: How are schools teaching reading? Why does it matter? Why do we need to speak now?

We’re facing a literacy crisis in the United States. 130 million adults in the United States struggle to read basic sentences which can make it difficult or impossible to navigate everyday life. Sixty-six percent of Cleveland residents are functionally illiterate. Some Cleveland neighborhoods have an illiteracy rate as high as 95%. 17.7% of adults in Ohio have low literacy. Ohio ranks 23rd out of 50 in the U.S. of adults who have low literacy. The percentages of Ohio 4th graders with a below essential reading ability by race is White 24%, Latinx/Hispanic 43%,  Black/African American 57%, Asian 14%.

Functional illiteracy is defined as having math, reading, or language skills below a 4th-grade level. At this level, people may struggle to read a bus schedule, medicine bottle, or job application. An adult without a high school diploma earns 42% less than an adult with a diploma. The percentage of adults without a high school diploma who live in poverty is twice that of those who have a high school diploma. A mother’s reading skill is the most significant determinant of her children’s future academic success and outweighs other factors like neighborhood and family income.

Join me in the first meeting to address literacy in Lakewood, our surrounding communities, and Ohio. Together we can make literacy for all actionable and achievable.


Mary McCool Berry is a reading specialist with a Master's Degree in Reading K-12 and a Wilson Certified Dyslexia Practitioner, teaching students across the United States virtually, an adult literacy volunteer, and an international literacy consultant.

She is the founder of Reading Keys LLC, a literacy resource hub for parents and educators. You can find her on YOUTUBE and Apple Podcasts at "Read Keys" hosting her own tutorials and co-hosting "The Literacy View" with two cutting edge reading specialists.

McCool Berry taught children in grades 2-6 in the Lakewood City Schools for 32 years. She left classroom work in 2019 and currently devotes her time to working with children and adults who struggle with literacy in the United States and other parts of the world. She believes that LITERACY FOR ALL is achievable in the United States and is a fundamental right for every American.

Volume 18, Issue 11, Posted 1:55 PM, 05.18.2022