Imagine a world where everyone is able to read. Literacy–the ability to read and write–is a basic skill for people to live and work today. However the illiteracy rate worldwide remains a concern. About one in five adults in today’s world–more than 700 million women and men are illiterate, primarily in developing countries. Two-thirds of these are women. Approximately 72 million children who should be in school are not.
Illiteracy concerns in the U.S. remain a major problem as well, in spite of major gains in all areas of education. More than 32 million adults in the U.S., or about 14 percent of population, have very low literacy skills. The skills are so low that some cannot even read anything more complicated and challenging than a simple children’s book with pictures.
The GFWC Education Community Service Program intends to improve literacy and education awareness in communities at home and around the world.
As GFWC clubwomen, we have the obligation to improve our own reading habits as well as to work with those in our community who need assistance. The Epsilon Sigma Omicron program, which offers a path to selfenrichment and personal growth for members, promotes a lifelong commitment to learning and self improvement through reading. We will join forces with literacy organizations to provide the cohesiveness needed for existing reading programs. For the adult who cannot read at all, or who cannot read well, there must be special instruction by volunteer tutors. Adults and young people should be encouraged to use libraries in order to continue improvement of reading skills, and we must work to establish libraries where they are needed.
GFWC-Epsilon Sigma Omicron
Epsilon Sigma Omicron is an honorary educational society open to all per-capita paying GFWC federated club members. ESO provides clubwomen with a structured reading program that is educational and stimulates a desire for self-improvement.
GFWC offers ESO materials such as ESO Chapter Guidelines, the ESO reading list, and an ESO informational brochure.
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