Grasping the basics of reading and writing is a fundamental problem for millions of adults across the globe.
South Dakota is no exception.
In the four-county area of Lincoln, Turner, McCook and Minnehaha, 6% of the population is illiterate which means they cannot read or write.
That's 15,000 people, which is enough to fill the Sioux Falls Arena two and a half times.
One local organization is working to bring those numbers down.
The Sioux Falls Area Literacy Council works closely with adults who want to improve their reading, or those who can't read at all.
Instead of going the traditional route, they're trying something new: teaching with iPads with a new fundraiser they call iPads For Literacy.
The council has more than 75 tutors who work with adults to help improve their lives by teaching them to read and write, free of charge.
Executive Director Paige Carda says services make a world of difference which is why they're choosing to expand resources with iPads.
"Using another tool allows them to expand that digital literacy, learn how to read by touching, seeing, feeling has expanded their learning process," Executive Director Paige Carda said.
The Council started 'iPads for Literacy' hoping to raise $3,000 which is enough for 6 new iPads to help learners learn even more.
"The challenge for us is to be able to get them moving along and keep them interested. It's hard to teach adults because they have life experiences. We really want to expose them to things they've never seen before and iPads are a great way to do that," Carda said.
Carda also says iPads are much more cost-effective and engage all of the senses.
"It has changed the dynamic for the learner, eyes are opened wide, they like the touch part of it, the sounds and can reproduce those sounds. If you come from another country and sometimes it's a challenge. To have someone playing it and she can repeat it back to you, it makes a difference," Carda said. "Those are people that want to work, want to be productive want to make more money for their family, this is a way for us to allow them to do that."
The SF Area Literacy Council is hosting a fundraiser on Friday Feb. 22, 2013: the 2nd Annual 'BrewHaha'.
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