Yes, it's time we paid attention to the Canadian literacy crisis



    Frontier College supports the Council of Ministers of Education Canada
    recommendations

    TORONTO, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - Frontier College, Canada's original literacy
organization, applauds the Canadian Ministers of Education announcement of
their key priority areas of Aboriginal education, literacy and postsecondary
education capacity.
    The literacy and education community in Canada has known for decades that
we are facing a growing literacy crisis. Forty-two percent of adult Canadians
don't have the literacy skills they need to participate in today's workforce.
"Finally, it looks as though the rest of Canada will start paying attention,"
says Sherry Campbell, President of Frontier College.
    "As our homes and workplaces become more complicated with changing
technology and more complex skill requirements, the number Canadians who are
struggling with literacy skills is bound to increase," Campbell adds. "We are
in full support of working with governments at all levels to turn this around.
Together, we can nurture literacy skills of all types with children, youth and
adults in the classroom, in the home and in the community."
    "Homework clubs, after school programs, tutoring, mentoring, summer camps
for Aboriginal children and reading circles organized by Frontier College and
other community-based agencies are excellent ways of providing enhanced
educational opportunities outside of the regular classroom. Teachers and
school administrators appreciate the value of extra-curricular literacy
activities because they see the difference a concerted and holistic community
effort can make in the lives of children and youth," declares Campbell.
    "We know that quality after-school academic support programs like the
ones we have created with Frontier College will help, ...'to level the playing
field' for some of our most vulnerable children - children who do not have
access to services or supports because of poverty or other barriers," says
Dr. Chris Spence, Director of Education, Hamilton-Wentworth District School
Board.

    Frontier College has been working on the front lines to improve Canada's
literacy rates since 1899. We work in communities across Canada by training
volunteers to help children, youth and adults with low literacy improve their
skills. Last year, more than 2,500 volunteers worked with over
15,000 individuals in inner-city classrooms, women's shelters, prisons,
community centres, and Aboriginal communities across the country to improve
literacy.
    Literacy is an essential skill in today's world. At Frontier College, we
believe it's a fundamental right. Low literacy skills are directly linked to
poverty, poor health and high unemployment. Forty-two percent of adult
Canadians have trouble with everyday tasks that involve reading. That's
millions of Canadians who are not reaching their potential. Through a network
of thousands of volunteers, Frontier College is helping people to realize
their potential and seize the opportunities that come their way.
    www.frontiercollege.ca





For further information:

For further information: about Frontier College, or to arrange an
interview with Sherry Campbell (President of Frontier College), please
contact: Sandi Kiverago, Director of Communications, Frontier College, (416)
923-3591 x318, skiverago@frontiercollege.ca


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