Former US President Lyndon Johnson launched a fight against poverty. 50 years later, President Obama wants social justice. But students at an adult school in Washington haven’t noticed much of either.
“Most of the adults who take part in our programs are either unemployed or have really poorly paid part-time jobs,” explains Lecester Johnson, the director of the Academy of Hope in the US capital. “We have students who have three or four jobs just to get by.”
The adult education facility is just a stone’s throw from Congress in one of the richest cities in the world. At the Academy of Hope, the adult students are learning the basic 3Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic – and hoping to earn a high school diploma some day – to get a better job and escape the vicious circle of poverty.
“About 25 percent of the people in this country are leaning toward illiteracy. Here, in the capital, it’s estimated that around 85,000 cannot read properly,” says Johnson.
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