Parents And Children Encouraged To Pick Up A Book On International Literacy Day



    Strong Reading And Writing Skills Lead To Greater Achievement In School
    And Beyond

    TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - Education Minister Kathleen Wynne is encouraging
parents to celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8 by reading with
their children.
    "Improving student literacy is a top priority for the Ontario
government," said Wynne. "Ontario is a prosperous province in a prosperous
nation because our kids are able to read, write and think critically."
    Parents play an important role in helping their children build a passion
for reading. To assist parents of elementary school-aged students, the
Ministry of Education launched the abc123 website located at
www.Ontario.ca/abc123. The site features fun and practical tips for parents on
how to get their children interested in reading, writing and math.
    The Ontario government is committed to helping all students improve their
literacy skills. Students continue to benefit from recent initiatives
including:

    
      -  Hiring more than 6,000 new teachers to boost literacy in elementary
         and secondary schools
      -  Reducing primary class sizes to 20 students or fewer in most classes
      -  Training more than 12,000 teachers and principals in shared reading,
         and 16,000 in approaches that identify each student's individual
         strengths
      -  Providing every school in the province with more textbooks, learning
         resources and library books.

    "A literate Ontario is a more successful Ontario," said Wynne. "And
International Literacy Day is an important reminder that we need to continue
working together to teach our children to read and write at a high level so
they can reach their full potential."

    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY 2007

    International Literacy Day was established in 1965 by the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to encourage
governments, business and labour groups, non-governmental organizations,
communities and individuals to recognize the importance of literacy.
    Literacy is a broad-based issue that touches almost every aspect of
people's lives. It is critical to personal development and economic
opportunity, and a major factor in Ontarians' ability to participate as full
and active citizens in all areas of society.
    Literacy is defined as the ability to use language and images in rich and
varied forms to read, write, listen, speak, view, represent and think
critically. It is the foundation for learning and success in school and
beyond. For that reason, the Ontario government has made improving student
literacy a key priority.
    The Ontario government established the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat
in 2004 to support schools and school boards in their efforts to improve
student literacy and numeracy. The secretariat identifies and shares
successful practices, taking into account local issues, and research and ideas
from other jurisdictions around the world.

    Disponible en français

                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                           www.ontario.ca/progress
    




For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514; TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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