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One in five adults cannot read this

Imagine a world without words. Signs that hold no meaning, stories that cannot be read.This is a stark reality for thousands of illiterate adults in Sacramento County.

Illiteracy is the inability to read or write. According to the Sacramento Public Library an estimated 230,000 adults have a difficult time reading and writing. It is estimated that one in every five Americans reads at, or below, a fourth grade-reading level.

But the library is doing everything possible to help those who cannot read by providing tutors and resources. They also promote early intervention with their summer reading program.

“The Sacramento Public Library has promoted summer reading for years now to help prevent ‘summer slide,’ when students’ reading level can slip downward if they don’t continue to read when they are out of school,” Belle Cooledge Branch Supervisor Vicki Rondeau said. “Reading just five books over the three-month summer vacation can help prevent this reading ‘summer slide.’”

Belle Cooledge Library is just one of the 28 Sacramento Public Library branches that provide summer reading programs. Cooledge also provides countless programs for children and adults alike, including book clubs, travel programs and weekly story times, to name just a few. But one of their most popular programs is Read to a Dog. Children can pick a book and read to a trained therapy dog while the dog curls up on their dog bed and listens.

You can support Belle Cooledge Library, and help them to continue all of their community programs, during their largest book sale of the year from Wednesday, May 29, through Saturday, June 1, at the Belle Cooledge Library community room. You can purchase books Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A wide selection of novels, paperback books, cookbooks, magazines and more will be available for prices starting as low as 50 cents. The money raised will go to the Friends of Belle Cooledge Library, who fund the majority of the branch programs as well as new technology and other materials.

Cooledge will also be hosting the 15th Annual Barbara Jeanne Hansen Ice Cream Social on Friday, May 31, to kick off summer reading, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and will be serving Vic’s Ice Cream free to the public.

“What is delightful to watch is how community members meet up at the programs, with grandparents, parents and kids all enjoying meeting and connecting with friends,” Rondeau said. “We are the heart of the community.”

To learn more about how you can help others learn to read please visit the library website

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