Literacy in Canada
You may think that literacy is not an important issue in Canada, but imagine:
- a child's paralyzing fear that her teacher will ask her to read aloud during class and that her friends will laugh at her when she makes a mistake,
- or the sadness of a mother not being able to read to her children or help them with their homework,
- the frustration of trying to apply for a job when you can't even understand the application form,
- or the danger of not being able to read the instruction on your medication, warnings on household products or signs on the highway,
- and the stress of trying to continually hide the fact that you have difficulty reading and writing.
Every day, thousands of people struggle with not being able to read or write...
The Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey, released by STATS Canada in May 2005, states that FOUR in ten Canadians do not have the literary skills they need to meet the ever-increasing demands of modern life.
Research shows that investment in literacy pays off in better outcomes for children, safer communities, labour market productivity, lower healthcare costs, more successful rehabilitation of offenders and better integration of newcomers to Canada.
This is what you can do to support literacy in your community:
- Read to a child
- Set a good example and make reading a part of your daily routine
- Give a book or magazine subscription as a gift
- Join the library
- Support your local literacy organization by donations or volunteering
- Commit Random Acts of Poetry!
For every dollar invested in early literacy intervention programs, over $7 are saved in the long run. (Schweinhart et al., 1993)
For 30 years, the Victoria READ Society has worked to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of children, youth and adults in the Greater Victoria community.