Mission: Literacy to the Rescue

A volunteer helps an inner city boy learn to read with God’s Word.

How can we both improve critical literacy deficits and introduce children to God’s Word? Answer: Mission: Literacy. Many low-income urban school districts report that up to 70 percent of fourth-grade students cannot read at a basic level. Mission: Literacy is an effective multicultural literacy program that employs Scripture in the service of tutoring struggling readers. Carlos, a second-grader, improved by eight reading levels after six months in the program.

The original curriculum was created by the American Bible Society and the Bank Street College of Education. The Salvation Army implemented the materials in New Jersey schools and worked closely with ABS in preparing the 2009 second edition.

The curriculum includes two levels — 30 booklets in each — of beautifully illustrated Bible stories, an “Alphabet and Phonics Book,” a “Road Map” on the ABCs of reading and tutoring, and a “Tutor's Handbook” for implementing the lessons. Carlos said, “When I started, I didn't know how to read. I could only read a little so I felt nervous. But now I am proud I can read a lot of books . . . Like my Children's Bible! My teacher and mom tell me that I am a good reader now.”

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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