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Project Literacy

You've Probably Seen An Emergency Alert On Your Phone. But Did You Notice How It Was Worded?

Here’s what happens when alerts like Hawaii's false alarm reach communities already in crisis.

[new_image position="standard large" id="null"]Warnings about Joaquin were not written in the plainest language. Image via Lisa Eastcoast/Twitter.[/new_image]

Back in October 2015, New Yorkers with smartphones were jolted by a collective ping, accompanied by a text message from the National Weather Service warning that the high winds of Hurricane Joaquin were imminent. Though Joaquin eventually veered off to Bermuda as a tropical storm, high surf and historic levels of tidal flooding devastated the Carolinas. And many of the alerts were written in complicated sentences using advanced vocabulary.

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This Formerly Homeless Harvard Grad Is Using Her Story To Change How We Help The Homeless

"She's helping others with the skills she developed." #ProjectLiteracy

Photo by Peretz Partensky/Flickr.

It’s difficult not to be dazzled by the accomplishments of Connie Chung. The 40-year-old is a published author with a bachelor’s degree from UC, Berkeley, and three graduate degrees from Harvard: two master’s degrees and a doctorate of education. Given her academic prowess, one might be surprised to find that Chung spent six years of her youth homeless and alone on the streets of Los Angeles.

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Addicted to Art

Art therapy harnesses literacy and the written word to help with the recovery process.

This story is part of an ongoing campaign called the Alphabet of Illiteracy. By using letters themselves—the foundation of reading and writing—Project Literacy examines the ways illiteracy underpins some of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Below, we explore the letter D for “Drug Abuse”.

A painting classroom. Photo by Flickr user San Sharma

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