I began my literacy research only to encounter sobering truths; illiteracy is not only a tragic waste of potential, it's also a danger to the individual and society. My original poster was based in California and so I have learned: half the working population is functionally illiterate, for the individual, illiteracy is a secret with much shame involved. The educational system in LA is problematic. Parents are encouraged to read to their children during the vital formative years 0-5. Preschool can assist during these years but is not an option for many lower income families in LA, as the waiting list is out of control. A high percentage of children are not passing standard reading tests, leading to a ridiculous drop out rate. Drop outs have less opportunities in society leading to low wages, poverty, low self worth, possible gang activity, prison. . . a terrible cycle.