Literacy for a Better World

Literacy makes our province a better place to live.

Have you ever wondered if there was a simple cure for all of society’s ills? What if you could help reduce problems like poverty, disease, environmental degradation, racism and corruption? In the real world, there is no such magic bullet, but contributing to literacy may just be one of the most effective tools to improve our world. 

Literacy is the foundation for learning that allows one to achieve goals, develop knowledge and realize one’s potential. Knowledge is power, and literacy democratizes it so that each person can become self-reliant and able to make intelligent decisions. Strong literacy skills can lead to better job skills, social skills, and self management skills to improve one’s life. This means economic gains for individuals, the companies they worked for, and the economy as a whole.

Low levels of literacy is a leading cause of societal ills such as wealth inequality, poor health, and political dysfunction. A majority of prisoners have been found to be illiterate. In developing countries, children of literate mothers are 50% more likely to live past age 5 than children of illiterate mothers. According to a study conducted by Central Connecticut State University, “Societies that do not practice literate behaviour are often squalid, undernourished in mind and body, repressive of human rights and dignity, brutal and harsh”.

But, just because one lives in a developed country, it doesn’t mean one doesn’t need to worry about literacy. According to this fact sheet from Decoda Literacy Solutions, more than 700,000 British Columbians have significant challenges with literacy. 45% of British Columbians aged 16 to 65 may have difficulty understanding newspapers, following instruction manuals, reading health information and other daily living tasks. 

Donating to the Decoda Literacy Foundation here can help make BC communities more literate. Decoda Literacy Solutions’ Raise-a-Reader campaign supports BC organizations that provide community-based literacy programs covering a wide range of program types. They include small group or one-to-one tutoring for children or adults, programs for families or seniors, workshops, seminars, and one-time events that provide information and raise awareness about the importance of literacy. 

If you’ve ever thought about donating to a good cause, why not try setting a goal to contribute a specific amount, like $5, $10 or even $20, at a specific time in the future? When you donate, you can select the specific community where your funds will go to. Please donate to help strengthen communities in British Columbia.

Please click the image to donate.

Literacy Hamper Distribution Week

Distributing literacy hampers and books on Monday, Aug 16, at the Outreach Resource Centre at Southside Community Church.
Sorting the books earlier that day at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House Community Hub.

Thanks to very generous donations, we are entering a whole week of Literacy Hamper Distribution at local Burnaby food and resource hubs!

Literacy Now received over 1,000 children’s books at the Pop Up Book Distribution by First Book Canada. Thanks to the workers at the Richmond Raincoast Books, who helped with loading the truck!

Another pallet of 1,200 books by the Read On Canada! coalition from the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundations arrived at our doorsteps at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House this morning. Our Literacy Now “food hub librarians” received them and already started distributing, today at the Outreach Resource Centre, and with great support from the Burnaby Public Library community librarians!