Celebrating A Literacy Leader



    McGuinty Government Names Council Of The Federation Award Winner

    TORONTO, July 17 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Alfred Jean-Baptiste, a popular Toronto community and literacy leader,
has won the Ontario 2008 Council of the Federation Literacy Award.
    Born in St. Lucia, Mr. Jean-Baptiste is an accomplished educator and
author. In 1982, he was a Senator in the St. Lucia Parliament. He was also
Minister of Community Development and Social Services. He moved to Toronto in
1985 where he was the program coordinator of the East End Literacy Program. He
is now the executive director of the Centre for Community Learning and
Development in Toronto and is active in a number of communities and
organizations.
    Premier Dalton McGuinty honored Mr. Jean-Baptiste for his important work
in adult literacy and life skills training. His approach to literacy inspires
students to see learning as part of their lives. This helps them work towards
and achieve goals.
    Nearly half of all adult Canadians have low literacy skills
(http://www.ccl-cca.ca/CCL/Newsroom/Releases/20080612ReadingtheFuture.htm?Lang
uage=EN). Improving literacy gives more people the opportunity to fully
participate in community life.
    The Council of the Federation
(http://www.councilofthefederation.ca/aboutcouncil/aboutcouncil.html) Literacy
Award celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of literacy advocates.
The winners are announced at the summer meeting of Canada's Premiers.

    QUOTES

    "This year's award celebrates Alfred Jean-Baptiste for his 20-year career
as a community leader. His dedication to bridging cultures through language is
what Ontario needs now," said Premier McGuinty
(http://www.premier.gov.on.ca/team/biography.asp?MPPID=9).
    "Language is not simply a means of communicating information. It is a
very important way of establishing and maintaining relationships with other
people," said Alfred Jean-Baptiste.

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -  The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey
       (http://www.statcan.ca/english/Dli/Data/Ftp/all.htm) found that
       16 per cent of Ontario adults don't have basic literacy skills;
       another 26 per cent would benefit from literacy upgrading.

    -  Literacy is the single most important determinant of employability
       (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/workplaceliteracy/about-skills.asp)and
       wage rates.

    -  Ontario has invested nearly $75 million this year in a program
       (www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/brochure/basicSkills/literacy_EN.pdf)
       that helps people improve their literacy skills.

    LEARN MORE

    Read about past recipients of the Council of the Federation Literacy
    Award (www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/training/literacy/literacy_award.html).

    Find out where newcomers can learn English as a Second Language
    (http://www.settlement.org/site/ED/esl.asp) in Ontario.

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