Why Shoot for Literacy?

Literacy rates are improving globally, but in terms of raw numbers there are more illiterates than 20 years ago.  In rural South Africa , youth literacy rates (ages 15-24) have increased over the past 20 years, which suggests that adult literacy rates will increase as they grow up.  However, youth literacy rates in rural South Africa  (70% in 2011) are the worst of any region.  For adults in this region, the rates have improved by 10%, but there is a disparity between literacy for women and men.  While 7 in 10 men can read, only half of women can do so. The biggest barrier to increasing literacy is the lack of books, especially in rural areas. Literacy is very important – many would say a human right.  A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to keep their children healthy and send their children to school; literate people are better able to access other education and employment opportunities; and, collectively, literate societies are better geared to meet development challenges. We believe that in order for people to be Leaders they must be Readers.

Van Winkle encourages reading and has developed an in house program where we buy books for each of our employees as a part of our employee leadership development program. Reading is essential to the growth of our employees and we are committed to literacy around the world.