Literacy Dashboard

When: December 13, 2023 10 am – 11:45 am EST

Where: Cuyahoga County Community College – Metropolitan Campus, Room MCC201 – 2900 Community College Ave. Cleveland, OH 44115

Join us on December 13th for our 5th annual Cuyahoga County Literacy Dashboard event. Reflect on the past five years of literacy data with TLC President & CEO Bob Paponetti, Vice-President Laureen Atkins-Holliday, and a panel of experts.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Nancy Mendez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starting Point
  • Stephanie Schab, State Director, Aspire/AEFLA WIOA Title II, Ohio Department of Higher Education
  • Dr. Sandra E. Mitchell-Phipps, State HSE Administrator/Program Administrator 2, Office of Career-Technical Education, Ohio Department of Education & Workforce
  • Elizabeth Kreger, Assistant Director of Adult Options, Office of Career-Technical Education, Ohio Department of Education & Workforce

Gain insights into recommended best practices and strategies for the next five years. The event is at Cuyahoga Community College’s Metro Campus, Room MCC201, from 10 am to 11:45 am.


On November 30, 2021, Bob Paponetti, President & CEO, and Laureen Atkins, VP of Strategic Initiatives, discussed preschool enrollment trends, survey results from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library families, and the effects of adult literacy in advancing the workforce.

Meghan Salas Atwell, Ph.D., Associate Director, Center on Urban Poverty & Community Development, presented on the relationship between participation in the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program and kindergarten readiness, and Monica Gaulden, SPARK Ohio Recruitment, Retention and Training Supervisor, shared information on SPARK as an effective early literacy intervention.


Cuyahoga County’s Literacy Crisis

Data shows the pervasive, county-wide challenge of young children and adults without the skills needed to succeed

Cuyahoga County’s literacy crisis will persist for generations unless progress is accelerated in preparing young children for kindergarten and helping more adult residents secure at least a high school education.

An assessment of the state of literacy in Cuyahoga County done by The Literacy Cooperative found:

  • 42% of all children enrolling in kindergarten in the 2018-19 school year weren’t adequately prepared to succeed
  • More than half of Cuyahoga’s children unprepared for kindergarten are enrolling in suburban school districts

Kindergarten Readiness (2018-2019)

Children unprepared for kindergarten are less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade ‑ a predictor of later success in school.

And adults without a high school diploma lack the basic literacy and other skills required to access in-demand jobs that offer paths to prosperity.

Low literacy levels pervade all of Cuyahoga County. For example:

  • 10% of all adults, or 101,221 residents, don’t have a high school diploma as of 2017
  • Nearly 40% of those without a high school diploma are ages 18-44
  • 58% of adults (18-44) without a high school diploma live in the city of Cleveland
  • More than half of the young adults (18-24) without a diploma live in the suburbs

Adults without a High School Diploma