793 million people cannot read these words. Approximately 50 percent of America’s unemployed youth, ages 16-21 are functionally illiterate.  60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate while 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems. One-fifth of high school graduates cannot read their diplomas. In light of these shocking statistics, The Visalia Pride Lions Club is promoting literacy and reading with several programs that include book reading contests, the donation of books to our local Gay-Straight Alliance High School Clubs and community children, and maintaining a lending library for its members. The club will also sponsor a literacy themed booth that includes a book giveaway for children at the community event, “Family Fest/Pride” on September 29th, 2012. These events and programs are part of the Lions Clubs International Reading Action Program, a global campaign taking place from July 2012 to June 2013 that focuses on implementing reading and education projects to help increase literacy rates worldwide.

“Lions are dedicated to providing community service. That dedication supports everything we do and our club participation in the Reading Action Program campaign is very exciting for us,” said Sandy Waymack, Visalia Pride Lions Club President. “We have several educators in our club and they immediately responded to the International President’s call for action on local literacy.  We will have a lot of fun creating and implementing these important programs this year.”

Prizes for the High School Book Reports have already been planned with a grand prize of an e-reader with internet access and Android Applications to be awarded in May.  The club had a colorful logo created for these literacy programs and Tee Shirts showing the logo were awarded to those club members who took leadership roles in August and September. 



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Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.

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