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Apply now for the PGI Learner Achievement Tribute Award. The deadline to apply is May 31.

January 27, 2010, was Family Literacy Day

Literacy BC has moved offices

The Westcoast Reader, a newspaper for adults learning to read, presents The Best of the Reader, a website with many ebooks and teacher resources.

Watch "Literacy Yarn" to find out why knitting is a good metaphor for literacy.

Data Angel Report: Addressing Canada's Literacy Challenge, A Cost-Benefit Analysis (PDF)

New Guidebook: Learning Together: A Guide to Community-Based Adult ESL _ Literacy in British Columbia (PDF)

Literacy _ Beyond raises $33,000 for Literacy BC

Literacy BC's 2008/09 Annual Report is now online (PDF).

New TD Bank Report: Helping Newcomers Unlock Their Potential (PDF)

Listen to Barbara Adler's poem, "Florence"

Report: Canada's Hidden Deficit: the Social Cost of Low Literacy Skills

Visit for resources to help youth overcome literacy challenges

If you are a journalist or blogger looking for story ideas, a quote, or facts about literacy, we would love to help you. Literacy BC staff are experts in adult literacy. We can help you understand local, provincial and national literacy issues, and provide quotes and adidtional contacts. For any media inquiries, please email Melinda Johnston at or call 604-684-0624 ext. 107.

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Literacy BC Celebrates Family Literacy Day

On January 27, 2010—Family Literacy Day—everyone at Literacy BC will take a few minutes to join together in song.

This year’s Family Literacy Day theme, Sing for Literacy, resonates with us for three reasons. One, singing promotes literacy skills. Supporting and promoting literacy and life-long learning is our mission. Two, 2010 is Literacy BC’s 20th anniversary. What better way to celebrate than through song? Three, from the spirituals of the deep south to the folk music of the sixties to the fundraiser “We are the World” in 1985, singing has always been a way to express solidarity and commitment to a cause. Our cause? The belief that literacy affects everyone and everyone has a part to play in raising literacy levels.

Reading, writing, arithmetic and problem solving are the basic tools that allow people to learn, grow and contribute to society. We begin developing these skills in childhood and continue learning throughout our lives. That is why family literacy—paying attention to the skills of all family members, not just children—is so important.

Parents and caregivers are children’s first and most important teachers. Thirty percent of BC’s children do not have the skills they need to succeed when they start school. To help children learn basic skills, we must start with families. It is true that children benefit when adults read with them and support their learning. But what of adults who struggle to read? Forty percent of British Columbians do not have the literacy skills to fully participate and succeed in today’s knowledge-based economy. Fourteen percent of British Columbians struggle with basic text.
Unless we help parents as well as children develop their skills, struggles with learning will continue from generation to generation. Literacy BC supports adult learning by referring learners to literacy programs, funding adult learners, offering professional development and resources to literacy practitioners, and raising awareness of literacy issues.

Singing improves basic literacy skills. You need to read the lyrics, count the beats, pronounce the words and understand the meaning of the song. These crucial skills enable full participation in society. Singing also unites us. This Family Literacy Day, raise your voice to support literacy in British Columbia. Visit to find out how you can make a difference.

Judy Cavanagh,
Executive Director, Literacy BC

About Family Literacy Day: Family Literacy Day takes place every year on January 27. ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation and Honda Canada created the day in 1999 to encourage families to read and learn together. Thousands of Canadians take part in Family Literacy Day events and activities at schools, libraries and literacy organizations. To learn more about Family Literacy Day, visit

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September 3, 2009: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

International Literacy Day 2009

September 8 is International Literacy Day.

If you could read that sentence, congratulations. According to the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level test it has a grade level of 16.2, or college-level. Forty percent of British Columbians might have trouble reading it.

When most people think of problems with literacy, the image that pops to mind is someone who cannot read at all, or someone who has to sign legal documents with an “X” rather than a signature. In many parts of the world, that image is true.

Worldwide, one in five adults is not literate, and 75 million children are not in school. In British Columbia, we are more fortunate. Our children go to school, and we have opportunities for further education. Very few people in BC cannot read or write at all. However, one million British Columbians do not have strong enough literacy skills to meet the demands of today’s fast-paced and information intensive economy. They might be able to read basic text, but have a hard time with math. They might be excellent employees, but cannot understand the manual for a new piece of equipment. They might be able to sign a permission slip, but not help their children with homework.

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For additional information, please contact Melinda Johnston, Communications Manager, at 604-684-0624 ext. 107, or