September 8th marks international Literacy Day, officially created by UNESCO in 1965 to help raise awareness surrounding global literacy challenges. According to UNESCO statistics, 12% of the global population remains illiterate or has a literacy level that is considered non-functional. To be functionally literate individuals need to be able to use their abilities across different platforms to meet the demands of their everyday life. Without a functional literacy level individuals encounter many obstacles and challenges when it comes to employment and personal development. They may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as filling out forms, reading prescription medication instructions, or reading signs and labels.
Literacy is the foundation for all lifelong learning. The ability to read and write has a profound effect on the individual, allowing each person to become prepared for a role as an active, aware and economically independent member of society.
In Canada, we face literacy challenges that many people remain unaware of. Approximately 49% of Quebec adults aged 16 to 65 have limited literacy skills. 1 in 6 adults will encounter challenges throughout their lives because of serious difficulties with reading and writing.
The Western Quebec Literacy Council is a community literacy initiative that works to help improve literacy on a one-to-one basis through free, confidential and personalized tutoring. You can get involved with our organization by contacting us or making a donation. Be sure to like our Facebook page and sign up to our Newsletter to stay informed on upcoming activities.