Reading is fun and fundamental to being able to participate fully in our society.
What does “literacy” mean?
Traditionally, literacy meant reading, writing and arithmetic. However “literacy is now understood as a means of identification, understanding, interpretation, creation, and communication in an increasingly digital, text-mediated, information-rich and fast-changing world,” according to UNESCO. In simpler terms, literacy is not just knowing how to read, but where to go for information and how to interpret what you read.
Why is literacy important?
Literacy helps people stay connected with neighbours, friends, family and the world at large. It helps you understand books, magazines and websites. It helps you express yourself in letters, emails and text messages.
Literacy helps people find and keep jobs. Many jobs now require a certain level of literacy – even with manual labour, you might need to understand written directions, write receipts, and do research online.
Literacy helps keep you safe and healthy. Imagine the danger involved in not being able to understand the label on a prescription bottle or the warning sticker on an appliance. Also, literacy allows you to read about healthy lifestyle choices.
Literacy brings pleasure. For many people, reading a magazine or book is a treat. You can discover great stories and new worlds in novels. You can use cookbooks from other cultures to create exciting meals. You can learn new skills by reading how-to books. Reading is fun and fundamental to being able to participate fully in our society.
Literacy starts at birth. Exposure to nursery rhymes, books, and songs are all stepping stones to literacy. In this special issue of Connecting Albert County, we explore the many learning opportunities available to families in rural Albert County. Most of these programs are free, and, until March 31st, 2018, Tele-Drive Albert County will provide free transportation to any child and parent/guardian going to one of the early childhood development programs. A volunteer driver will pick you up from your house, take you to the program, and drive you back home again. Call 875-1190 to arrange a lift.
We are producing this issue (and Tele-Drive is offering the free rides) in partnership with Education and Early Childhood Development - Government of New Brunswick - NB Literacy Strategy with support from the Bennett and Albert County Health Care (BACH) Foundation and printing from Gary Steeves Insurance.
I hope you enjoy this issue and share the news about the excellent programs described in these pages,
Janet Wallace is the editor and coordinator of Connecting Albert County.