September is Literacy Month!

The theme for this year’s Literacy Month is ‘Literacy Connects Us.’ If you think about it, literacy connects us in a myriad of ways. It connects us to health by helping us find, understand, and use health information. It connects us to employment, giving us more job opportunities and greater money-making ability. It connects us to civic engagement and that, in turn, promotes options for volunteering and encourages us to get out and vote. It helps us understand what to do in legal situations, in the digital world, and it connects us to other people. Imagine not having the ability to read a newspaper, to write or read a letter, to share details with your friends about the latest book you read.

In the big picture, literacy is fundamental to reducing poverty, building life skills, and achieving gender equality. Though world-wide literacy rates continue to improve, there are still over 700 million adults and young people who cannot read. In BC, that number is over 700,000. The Decoda Literacy Foundation is working to change that. Their work is ongoing, but this month in particular, they have a number of initiatives to boost awareness of literacy issues.  For more information on the organization and the important work they do, go here:

If you know someone who is struggling with literacy or you need to access a literacy program in a specific area of B.C., this site might be helpful:

What can you do on a personal level to promote literacy? Read to your children. If you don’t have children, give books as gifts to the children (and the adults!) in your life. Start a neighborhood free library or donate books to one. Set up a book basket or book exchange at work. Volunteer with your local literacy program.   Support your local library as best you can. Finally, make reading a priority for yourself. Talk to others about what you’ve read. Share the love . . . and share the joy of the written word.

4 thoughts on “September is Literacy Month!

  1. Another interesting post, Laura. I wasn’t familiar with Decoda. When I worked at VIU, I sometimes collaborated with literacy Nanaimo around student needs. Even in a country such as ours, there is still a lot of work to be done. It’s surprising how many people struggle with literacy.

    1. Thanks for mentioning Literacy Nanaimo, Debra. There are many groups like them doing such important work. It’s sad that literacy is still a struggle for some people.

  2. Lovely post, Laura. Years ago my mother marvelled that I had baked something she hadn’t taught me. She asked how I did it. My answer, “I can read.” I was a little stunned that she hadn’t considered that I could learn from a recipe book instead of from my mother. It’s hard to believe that there are still places in the world where people, especially girls, are forbidden to read. Of course, keeping the population ignorant is the first rule for dictators who want to control the minds of their countrymen.

    1. I’ve heard of children learning to read from cereal boxes, but never from a recipe. That’s a cute story! And one I might have to use in a story of my own one of these days . . .

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