Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Ten years ago, it started in one city, with one newspaper, and grew into a national event. Today is Raise-A-Reader day in Canada, an initiative that’s raised over $7.5 million since it was started, with all the money going to literacy programs.

From the Vancouver Sun: ”Those of us who are literate can take our good fortune for granted. We may forget that 42 per cent of Canadian adults have low prose literacy skills; more than 20 per cent have severe problems with reading and comprehension. Vast numbers of Canadians are not able to read such crucial information as food labels, product safety warnings or instructions for prescription and other drugs. People with low literacy skills suffer from higher unemployment and lower self esteem. They are often ashamed of their inability to read and try all sorts of strategies to hide it from family, friends and co-workers.”

Raise-A-Reader aims to ensure that people acquire literacy skills at an early age and don’t face such challenges throughout their lives. It’s a program that’s made a difference for families and individuals and from Vancouver it’s spread across the country.

And it isn’t just corporate sponsors and educators that get involved.

Every Canadian can contribute to the program today, nation-wide. Check out the links to stories in the Vancouver Sun for more information, and please spread the word. If you don’t have a Raise-A-Reader program in your country, perhaps today is a good day to ask why not.

“The gift of literacy empowers people and enhances our communities."
Leonard Asper, president and chief executive officer of CanWest Global Communications Corp.

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