Literacy: Part One

Literacy refers to the ability to read and write and do basic arithmetic, which is divided into different levels based on one’s ability to understand and use the information to function within society and at work.

According to Statistics Canada and Human Resources Development Canada, literacy is measured on a score of 0-500 (5 Levels), with a minimum score of 300 required to be able to have a job and Level 3 to be the basic level at which an individual can function well in society.

Millions of Canadians cannot read well enough for daily activities.

What can we do about it?

Children are born with the ability to learn rapidly, as their brains are taking in information and making connections. What they learn in the first few years of their lives will set the foundation for the rest. Literacy skills are like a muscle – the more this muscle is worked, the more it will grow. If it is not worked, it will get weaker.

Children spend the first few years of their lives learning to read. After this, they read to learn.

Children learn language before they start school, and it is their caregivers they learn the most from during this time. Over the next few weeks, I will be discussing literacy and its importance, as well as how caregivers can help their children develop early literacy skills.

What are some effects of low literacy?

  1. School problems
  2. Not completing school
  3. Unemployment
  4. Negative impact on health
  5. Poverty

I will discuss this in more detail in the coming weeks.

I will leave you with this question: When should you start reading to your child?