Celebrate Literacy Month in New Westminster

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Visit the New Westminster Public Library and get a library card if you don’t already have one. Look at photos and tell stories. Create a bucket list. Research something that happened on this day in 1968. Start a journal. Write a letter or an email to a family member.

These are just some of the things the Literacy New Westminster Committee suggests you can do in September in celebration of Literacy Month.  You’ll find a calendar filled with suggestions at www.tinyurl.com/Literacy-Month-2019-New-West.

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The committee creates and promotes awareness about the importance of literacy and supports local actions related to literacy.

“Literacy is the key to opportunity for Canadians to increase their life changes and be successful in today’s modern world, as literacy is no longer simply the ability to read and write,” said a Literacy Month proclamation from the city.

Here are some literacy stats compiled by Tristan Johnson, a senior planning analyst at the City of New Westminster.

16 per cent of British Columbians were at Level 1 literacy or below in 2012, based on the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies. These folks struggle with completing tasks related to daily living as a result of limited literacy skills.

Between June 2017 and June 2019, renters sought 53 loans from the New Westminster Rent Bank. The majority of rent bank clients have budgeting and financial skill deficiencies, with some having literacy deficits in general.

In 2016, New Westminster had 2,150 seniors aged 65 and up living in low-income households (20.8 per cent of seniors), and 2,140 didn’t have high school education or higher.

For more information contact the committee at literacynewwest@fsgv.ca.

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