One More Reason to Thank Your Mom

If You’ve Written Mom a Card, You Have Another Reason to Be Grateful

Thank you mum

This Mother’s Day consumers will spend a whopping $2.5 billion buying cards for moms [1]. Some of us will write heart felt messages of gratitude, some humorous words of thanks, and others will write them right at the last minute, because they’ve forgotten all about it.

Whatever your words to Mom, being able to write them means you have another reason to say thanks.

The single greatest indicator of a child’s future success is the literacy level of their parents [2]. So if mom can’t read or write, it not only affects her, it affects her children too - because children of illiterate parents are 85% more likely to struggle with literacy themselves.

It’s a problem that is right in our backyard – there are 16 million women in the USA who cannot read or write and it is estimated that over 50% of them are mothers [3]. Literacy skills are vital. Without them, women can’t access education, they’re more likely to be in low paid work – or have no job at all – to live in poverty, be homeless or suffer from a drug addiction.

But here’s the good news: this cycle can be broken. If you’re looking for a way to make a big impact, teaching mothers to read and write is a great place to start. This year’s Project Literacy campaign, Give your Word, focuses on adult literacy as a way to create a virtuous cycle of literacy and broaden opportunities for future generations.

Give your Word features the personal stories from adults learning to read and write. For many of these men and women, their desire to want to learn has been inspired by the will to offer their families a better future.

One such person is Wanda, who is featured in our First Words film. Wanda is a mother from Philadelphia who is currently learning at Adults Can Learn to Read, a partner of the Philadelphia Office of Adult Education and Project Literacy partner. Wanda constantly worried about whether she would help or harm her sick kids because she couldn’t read the instructions on a medicine bottle. She tried everything to hide her lack of literacy – even making up stories when her kids asked her to read them a book. When her children started school Wanda was forced to admit that she didn’t know how to read and the shame she felt brought her back to her own school days, when the other kids would make fun of her. Now, four months on, with the help of her tutor at Adults Can Learn to Read, she’s on her way to being able to ready any book her kids want her to.

This Mother’s Day, to raise awareness of this important issue, Project Literacy has created this film to be released on social media. 

As well as writing to your own moms this Sunday, help a mom who can’t read and write, by spreading the word.

Thanks for your support and happy Mother’s Day!


[1] National Retail Federation’s Mother’s Day 2017 survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

[2] ProLiteracy

[3] 16 million women in the USA are illiterate (U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Research and Improvement April 2014), an estimated 53% of those are mums (Source: Fertility of American Women)

12 May 2017 - 18:00

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