Literacy helps people to connect to each other – and to the world around them.
The City of New Westminster has proclaimed September as Literacy Month. The proclamation states that literacy is the key opportunities for Canadians to increase their life chances and to be successful in today’s modern world, as literacy is no longer simply the ability to read and write.
In addition to proclaiming September as Literacy Month, the city will be lighting up Anvil Centre in purple in celebration of International Literacy Day on Sept. 8.
“Literacy can impact an individual’s ability to obtain and maintain employment,” said Nimmi Bangert, Connections employer and community liaison at FraserWorks. “From filling in job applications to completing reports in a workplace, the importance of literacy and the role it plays at helping an individual succeed at work cannot be underestimated. Literacy Month is about creating awareness of literacy initiatives in the community and as members of the committee; we are committed to working together to address barriers faced by our community.”
The Literacy New Westminster committee is promoting a Literacy Month contest, with this year’s theme being #LiteracyConnectsUs. Details about the colouring contest are available at www.decoda.ca.
Maylen Crespo, community lead-manager, community education and development services at Family Services of Greater Vancouver, said Decoda Literacy Solutions, the province’s literacy organization, has a vision where everyone in British Columbia has the literacy skills they need.
“Literacy not only plays an important role in our everyday activities, it aims to improve quality of life at home, at work and in the community. Lack of literacy skills can keep people in a cycle of poverty,” she said in an email to the Record. “Literacy is as important in New Westminster because it impacts every area of modern life: healthcare, civic engagement, education, employment, and the economy. While most residents have adequate literacy skills – many simply don’t.”
The New Westminster Literacy Committees is comprised of representatives of different local agencies and organizations, as well as the City of New Westminster. Coordinated by Family Services of Greater Vancouver, committee members meet during the year to address literacy activities, to collaborate on literacy initiatives and to network with each other.