Sheena Polk,

S.T.Y.L.E chair of the board, staff member of the CISD, and devoted mother started the S.T.Y.L.E organization to address the stagnant rates of illiteracy in the Nation.  The organizations mission is to help empower teenage girls with the literacy tools to exceed in life.

According to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.

The current literacy rate isn’t any better than it was 10 years ago. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (completed most recently in 2003, and before that, in 1992), 14 percent of adult Americans demonstrated a “below basic” literacy level in 2003, and 29 percent exhibited a “basic” reading level.

We probably don’t need to spell out the benefits of reading and writing for you. Economic security, access to health care, and the ability to actively participate in civic life all depend on an individual’s ability to read.

According to the Department of Justice, “The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence, and crime is welded to reading failure.” The stats back up this claim: 85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate, and over 70 percent of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level, according to


Last modified: September 8, 2016

2 Responses to " S.T.Y.L.E. Launches Teen Literacy Program "

  1. La Tanya Jefferson says:

    Hello Mrs. Polk,
    I was simply moved by this. Can my daughter and I, be apart of this and if so, how? And if not, how can we just help out?

    So, looking forward to hearing from you.

    La Tanya Jefferson (Baptiste)

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