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Vietnam vets learn about literacy efforts
literacy
Annaliza Thomas of Literacy Forsyth recently addressed the Vietnam Veterans chapter in Cumming. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

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The local VVA chapter meets the first Monday of each month at the Golden Corral restaurant on Market Place Boulevard. Dinner is at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. All Vietnam veterans are invited.

CUMMING — The executive director of a Forsyth County organization dedicated to reducing illiteracy and the economic and social toll it can take recently spoke to a gathering of the Cumming chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Annaliza Thomas with Literacy Forsyth said the local community is reflective of the problem nationwide, where an estimated 32 million Americans are functionally illiterate. That means they can’t read or write well enough to succeed in the complex modern society.

According to Thomas, there are about 13,000 people in Forsyth who don’t have a high school diploma. That’s why the organization joins with schools to help identify and assist sixth-12th graders who are at risk of dropping out.

Literacy Forsyth also works with libraries, retired teachers and other community volunteers to help about 1,300 people every year read more effectively in order to take the GED test to gain entry to a technical school, learn English or prepare for the U.S. citizenship exam.

The United Way-funded agency soon will begin operating a mobile library that will visit rural areas of north Forsyth where both library use and book ownership levels are low.

The twist is that instead of lending books, they will be giving them to bookmobile clients as a way to spur reading and improve literacy.

Literacy Forsyth is also preparing to participate in World Book Night on April 23.

As part of the effort, publishers donate cases of current and popular book titles to be given away to promote reading.

For more information, to volunteer or learn about Literacy Forsyth contact Thomas at LiteracyForsyth@gmail.com.