How many words have you read today? Just think of them all: the emails, street signs, restaurant menus, websites, product labels, grocery lists, text messages, billboards, fortune cookies, instruction manuals, advertising circulars, and bills, to say nothing of the chapter of the latest Stephen King or the handful of Shakespeare’s sonnets you will read before turning out the light tonight. Chances are, if you thought about it, you would consider each and every one of those words vital to the way you want to live your life. Your ability to read not only allows you to move safely and efficiently through the world, it also enriches your inner life immeasurably.
If you were one of the 1 in 3 Houstonians who is functionally illiterate, your world would be a lot smaller, a lot poorer and a lot harder to navigate.
Harris County Public Library is and has always been committed to the cause of literacy and we are a proud participant in a coalition of more than one hundred and fifty local literacy sites and organizations that is led by Houston Center for Literacy  (formerly The Houston READ Commission). Our dedicated volunteer tutors work to help adults in our communities lead happier and more productive lives with free instruction in basic reading, writing and spoken-English skills.
In addition to free instruction, HCPL offers language learning software, such as Mango Languages for ESL , through our collection of databases, as well as a wide variety of other literacy and ESL resources for checkout.
To learn more about Harris County Public Library's literacy programs and how you can help, please visit the Literacy & English as a Second Language Page  of this website.
To Learn more about Houston Center for Literacy, please watch the video below and visit their website at www.houread.org