KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- One out of ten adults in Tennessee reads at or below a sixth grade level, according to Friends of Literacy.
43% of people with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty.
So that's why Friends of Literacy has set up class in some of Knoxville's subsidized and low income housing.
26 year old Kevin Geeslin lives in the Green Hills Apartments in East Knoxville. He dropped out of school in the ninth grade, but now he knows how important it is to have a high school diploma.
Kevin says, "Finding a job has been absolutely difficult in my field it does require education."
The laid off auto body shop worker decided to pursue his GED through the Friends of Literacy "Learn Now" program, because it's free and convenient. The classroom is in his apartment complex.
He says, "I don't have to pay for gas, I don't have to worry about how I am going to get here. I just walk right next door and start studying."
The Green Hills site is one of five areas in Knoxville to offer the Learn Now program. Participants need to be 18 years or older, and commit 4 hours a week with their volunteer tutor.
Charlie Morgan of Friends of Literacy says, "We will take anyone from learning to read all the way to GED. "We hope by being in a community and creating an atmosphere you can be gone and come back and we welcome you to come back and keep trying, that more people will feel empowered to finish."
Kevin is on track to test for his GED this summer. But, he says his education won't stop there.
Kevin says, "I want to start my own business, TTC has a year's wait, and I reckon it's worth the wait."
Call the Friends of Literacy for more information on the Learn Now program at 594-1507.
Other sites include the Walter P. Taylor Homes and Montgomery Village.
The annual Looks for Literacy Fashion Show Luncheon is coming up on May 6th at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Volunteer TV's Lauren Davis (and other models) will be modeling clothing from Doncaster and Bliss.
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