Illiteracy Awareness Campaign Ending With Municipal Elections

Nov 4, 2013

A sign promoting illiteracy awareness in the Triangle
Credit Bootstraps PAC

A North Carolina political action committee is wrapping up one of its pushes for childhood literacy that includes indecipherable campaign signs. 

The Bootstraps PAC has been distributing signs that say "Yrnt sqzp apxl!" with a bar code for a smartphone scanner that forwards to a website about illiteracy. 

The group's founder Mary Carey says the campaign is meant to make people aware of the literacy rate in the Triangle.

"It's just a group of letters that don't represent anything, and it's interesting the irony that so many people were frustrated being unable to read one sign, and yet there are tens of thousands of young people and adults walking around the Triangle that are unable to read any other signs," Carey says.

"You fix third grade reading scores so that everybody is reading on grade level by the end of third grade, you're going to have an impact on unemployment, the dropout rate, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and entry into the criminal justice system, so we know how important it is that we do address this problem."

Nearly half of third-graders from low-income families in the Triangle can't read well enough to pass state exams.  Governor Pat McCrory has said that rate is likely to go up this week when new test scores are released because of higher standards.  Carey says Bootstraps does not endorse any candidates for public office.