County boasts highest literacy rate

Published 9:56 pm Sunday, March 29, 2009

A recent report issued by the National Center for Education Statistics shows Shelby County having the highest literacy rate in the state. In other words, we have the lowest rate of illiteracy at 7 percent.

While Alabama’s literacy rates are improving overall, there are still some counties that are double the national average illiteracy rate of 14.5. Alabama’s overall illiteracy rate is 15 percent; more than double that of Shelby County. While that is nothing for the state to brag about, it is a six–point improvement over the 1992 report. That is something for which to brag, but we have a long way to go.

Only 12 states had higher illiteracy rates than Alabama.

The Literacy Council of Alabama serves five counties including Blount, Shelby, St. Clair, Jefferson and Walker. Their mission is to reduce illiteracy and provide valuable resources and referrals for those seeking help.

There are many organizations in Shelby County that offer free help for people who need it in learning to read and taking the GED. The School of Technology, Shelby Baptist Association and Shelby County Family Resource Center are a few of them.

It is a proven fact that $625 million are spent on non-medical welfare cases in Alabama. Combine that with the fact that 65 percent of welfare recipients who earn either a high school diploma or GED become self-sufficient within two years, and you have a solution to a great deal of problems.

To volunteer to tutor, assist with GED training or learn of other ways you can help decrease the illiteracy rate and increase the literacy rate visit the Literacy Council at or call them in Birmingham at 326-1925 or toll-free at 1-888-448-7323.