The Literacy Project addresses illiteracy at its earliest stage by teaching at-risk second-graders how to read.  The statistics on literacy underscore the critical need to address illiteracy in the United States:

  • Currently, 45 million Americans are functionally illiterate and cannot read above a fifth-grade level
  • 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth-grade level
  • 57% of students failed the California Standards Test in English
  • 1/3 of fourth-graders reach the proficient reading level
  • 25% of students in California school systems are able to perform basic reading skills
  • 85% of juvenile offenders have problems reading
  • 3 out of 5 people in American prisons can’t read
  • 3 out of 4 people on welfare can’t read

(Sources: National Institute for Literacy, National Center for Adult Literacy, The Literacy Company, U.S. Census Bureau)


Wienerschnitzel Furthers Fight Against Illiteracy

Wienerschnitzel, the world’s largest hot dog chain, is proud to support The Literacy Project (TLP)  as the company’s marquee charity partner. Wienerschnitzel was honored as the Presenting Sponsor of the 8th Annual “What Dreams Are Made Of” Gala for its commitments and generous contributions to the organization and its cause.

“Aligning with The Literacy Project has been an honor for Wienerschnitzel, as we take great pride in helping to better the lives of these children,” said Cindy Galardi Culpepper, Chairman and CEO of Wienerschnitzel. “Without reading skills, which are vital to a child’s advancement, we could very well be missing out on the development of our future great leaders. We look forward to achieving much more with The Literacy Project.”

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At the helm, Culpepper makes the company’s charitable giving efforts a priority and is committed to giving back to the communities that each of Wienerschnitzel’s 330 restaurants across the U.S. serves. As a board member for TLP, Culpepper is an ambassador to the organization; raising awareness for the mission, garnering support to expand the successful reading program, and regularly visiting schools to participate in interactive reading activities.

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On Saturday, April 27, 2019, the sixth annual Readers in the Outfield event took place at Angels Stadium. The event, sponsored by the Angels Baseball Foundation and MemorialCare, celebrated the 100 proud second-graders who recently graduated from The Literacy Project program. The Readers in the Outfield event has been held every year since 2013 to recognize the literary achievements of enrolled second-graders. 


Kevin Vilches Former Literacy Project Student.

According to Kevin’s mother, he previously had trouble making sounds and putting words together. Through programs with The Literacy Project, he was able to improve his speaking over time, even mentioning that he “felt happy, excited, confident.”