Tuesday, December 06, 2005

CBC Canada Reads picks announced!

Hey all,

Lyndsay informs me that yesterday, CBC announced its Canada Reads picks for 2006. The website with the list of books and panellists is available HERE.

Be sure to check it out. Each year five well-known Canadians each defend a Canadian book - fighting for their book to "win." I understand Lyndsay is most excited about John K. Samson of the Weakerthans--(also a professor and an author and who knows what else) defending her favourite Canadian book (Miriam Taeves--A Complicated Kindness). See if someone is defending one of your favorites!

Most relevant to the SFLO cause is the fact that each year Canada Reads benefits a literacy organization. This year proceeds from sales from the books in question from various sponsoring publishers will go to support Laubach Literacy.

Laubach was founded in 1970. Since that time, thousands of volunteer literacy tutors have used Laubach methods to help Canadian adults improve their reading and writing skills. LLC also certifies trainers to deliver training workshops to literacy volunteers across the country. Their motto is Each One Teach One. You can check out their site HERE.




At 11:35 AM, Blogger Students For Literacy Ottawa said...

Hey everyone,

Found a newspiece related to Laubach's funding (out in New Brunswick, but still interesting given they have been chosen to benefit from the CBC Canada Reads event).

The Moncton Times and Transcript
DATE: 2005.12.10
BYLINE: PETER SAWYER Moncton Regional Learning Council

Increased funding vital for Laubach

The latest literacy figures are in and the news for New Brunswick is not good.

Late last month, the federal government made public the full results of a study of literacy proficiencies among those aged 16 and over in Canada's provinces and territories.

The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (IALSS) shows that most adults and youth in New Brunswick over the age of 16 do not have the minimum literacy skills needed to cope with the demands of everyday life and work.

In fact, the full results of the survey indicate that 65 per cent of the population 16 years and older fall into the bottom two strata of the international literacy scale when an average is taken of all four areas of literacy studied.

Here are the facts: The IALSS tested more than 23,000 Canadians on their ability in four areas: prose literacy (reading continuous text such as the type found in books and newspaper articles); document literacy (reading text that is not continuous, such as the type in graphs and charts); numeracy (math skills); and problem solving (analytical reasoning).

Proficiency was rated on the basis of levels one to five, that is, lowest to highest. At Level 1, individuals have difficulty understanding any printed material. At Level 2, they can read only simple material. Level 3 is considered the minimum level for successful participation in society.

New Brunswick ranked significantly below the Canadian average in all four domains.

Here's how the results break down: Prose literacy: 56 per cent of adults and youth over 16 scored in Level 1 or Level 2 (Canadian average for those levels: 47.7 per cent); Document literacy: 58.3 per cent of adults and youth over 16 scored in Level 1 or Level 2 (Canadian average for those levels: 48.6 per cent); Numeracy: 65.2 per cent of adults and youth over 16 scored in Level 1 or Level 2 (Canadian average for those levels: 55.1 per cent); Problem-solving: 81.2 per cent of adults and youth over 16 scored in Level 1 or Level 2 (Canadian average for those levels: 72.2 per cent)

New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut were the only provinces in which residents scored significantly below the national average in all four domains.

There are many different associations in New Brunswick that are concerned with the problems created by adult illiteracy.

The National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) lists 22 home pages for this province plus several national organizations that either extend into New Brunswick or have New Brunswick participants.

But Laubach Literacy New Brunswick (LLNB) and the Community Academic Service Programs (CASPs) are the only ones "working in the trenches" and delivering literacy services directly to adult students.

Laubach Literacy New Brunswick (LLNB) has for many decades provided thousands of our neighbours with the only free, confidential, one-on-one literacy program available in this province.

Through its network of trained volunteers, LLNB has helped New Brunswickers improve their reading, writing and basic math skills and, as a result, has positively changed the lives of thousands. LLNB has helped create a better life for all of us.

Its tutors are the candle lighters. They are needed.

There's no question that thousands more could benefit from Laubach's globally proven Each-One-Teach-One method and program. However, the program - so fundamental to the advancement of adult literacy in this province - is in financial jeopardy.

During its many years of continuous operation, LLNB has existed on sheer determination.

However, it has now reached a critical point in which its ability to continue as an active organization helping to improve literacy in New Brunswick is in danger of coming to an end.

Another 25 years, like the past 25 years, without an improvement in literacy rates will be disastrous to the province.

The direct benefits of a more literate society, such as improved economic development, reduced poverty and a healthier population will be seriously threatened.

Is that the legacy our children will inherit?

In 2005, LLNB received only $8,500 in operational funding from the provincial department of Training and Employment Development.

The important work and contribution of LLNB volunteers in tackling the drastically low literacy rates in this province must be acknowledged by granting a level of funding that will enable the organization to continue to operate and do its part in meeting this challenge.



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