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Toronto, Sep 8 (Canadian-Media): International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 8 had been officially proclaimed by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) -- United Nations’ special agency – at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference on 26 October 1966 to create awareness to the international community towards more literate individuals, societies and communities, media reports said.
The theme of ILD 2017 is: "Literacy in a digital world".
Keeping with this theme Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO said on ILD 2017, “Digital technologies permeate all spheres of our lives, fundamentally shaping how we live, work, learn and socialize...This year, the event is devoted to better understanding the type of literacy required in a digital world to build more inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies. Everyone should be able to make the most of the benefits of the new digital age, for human rights, for dialogue and exchange, for more sustainable development.”
“Canadians with low literacy skills are more likely to be unemployed and poor, to suffer poorer health and to die earlier than Canadians with high levels of literacy,” says Tom Best, executive director of First Book Canada, a non-profit organization that provides new books to children in need, in partnership with McDonald’s Canada. Those with low literacy are also much less likely to vote or be engaged in community, Toronto Sun News reported.
With the main objective reportedly to provide literacy in growing digitally-mediated societies coordinated with development of policies and programmes for literacy skills, ILD aims to support digital technologies specially targeted on youth and adult literacy programs.
Literacy -- important to all Canadian citizens, immigrants and refugees – has a direct impact on every area of modern life including healthcare, civic engagement, education, employment and the economy.
Toronto Public Library (TPL), in Toronto, Ontario has reportedly come up with five literacy tips called the Five Es: Read Everyday, Explore, Expand, Educate and Enjoy., reported TPL
Although majority of Canadian residents reportedly have adequate literacy skills too many simply do not have these.
In British Columbia (B.C.) approximately 40 percent of adults reportedly have difficulty reading a newspaper, filling out forms, asking for information, or understanding the language.
During the observance of ILD, Leonne Beebe, Community Literacy Co-ordinator in Agassiz, B.C. invited everyone to wear purple to show their adherence to the community.
September 8, 2017-- observance of ILD -- was also officially proclaimed as Literacy Month in list of the communities in B.C.
Seabird Island Community School, a First Nations School in Agasizz, B.C. celebrated both International and Indigenous Literacy Day on September 8 of this year by starting their morning with a shared reading program for their students involving cross-age and cross-grade reading partners, followed by their traditional language classes.
The FVR Library, in Agasizz celebrated worldwide literacy with a drop-in activity throughout the day where drop-ins in library wrote messages on pre-addressed postcards, which will be sent to other libraries around the world.
“International Literacy Day really emphasizes what we are all about at the Learning Co-op …As this year’s theme suggests, literacy is a wide-ranging skill that impacts not only our ability to read books or the newspaper, but to be able to successfully navigate at work, at home and in society at large, said principal Joe Bitonti", at the Alternative and Continuing Education Campus of Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)