Mission: We support the efforts of nonprofit organizations that teach people of all ages to read.


Believe in Reading is funded by The Steve and Loree Potash Family Foundation, and is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Believe in Reading funds excellent programs dedicated to the teaching and encouragement of reading for all ages anywhere in the world.

Our Challenge

US MapThe Nation

  • In a study of literacy among 20 “high income” countries, the US ranked 12th
  • Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their children
  • 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level
  • 45 million are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level
  • 44% of the American adults do not read a book in a year
  • 6 out of 10 households do not buy a single book in a year


The Economy

  • The economy20% of Americans read below the level needed to earn a living wage
  • 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read
  • 50% of the unemployed between the ages of 16 and 21 cannot read well enough to be considered functionally literate
  • Between 46 and 51% of American adults have an income well below the poverty level because of their inability to read
  • Illiteracy costs American taxpayers an estimated $20 billion each year
  • School dropouts cost our nation $240 billion in social service expenditures and lost tax revenues


Impact on Society

Man reading

  • 3 out of 5 people in American prisons can’t read
  • 85% of juvenile offenders have problems reading
  • Approximately 50% of Americans read so poorly that they are unable to perform simple tasks such as reading prescription drug labels

(Source: National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau)