Thursday, September 3, 2009

International Literacy Day Media Release

Truro – September 8th is International Literacy Day and The Power of Literacy is the theme for 2009. Literacy empowers many Nova Scotians as we participate in our home life, communities and workplaces. Literacy also means empowerment for the Nova Scotians who are participating in programs and classes that help them improve their literacy skills, earn a high school diploma or work toward a better career.

The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey (2003) reported that about four in ten adult Nova Scotians do not have sufficient literacy skills to fully participate in their family life, communities or workplaces. Many Nova Scotians are working to improve their literacy and other essential skills. So many learners tell us that their return to learning has made a difference in their lives.

I have gained ten years worth of confidence in a matter of months… I am doing something worthwhile, and working towards a career that will add richness and texture to my life. A sense of purpose that will shape my future into one I can be proud of…. because I knew enough to know I needed more. ~ Marcia recently graduated with a high school diploma.

As I began my journey on the road of lifelong learning…education (through my workplace) gave me a reason to believe that I can make a difference not only in my life, but also in the lives of others. I have acquired skills that have proven to be invaluable not only in the rapidly changing workplace of today, but have become essential on a daily basis in my personal life. ~ Earl participated in a program offered through his workplace in Halifax.

Something that has always bothered me was the fact that I didn’t complete high school when I was young. When you’re young, you don’t realize how leaving school could affect you in so many ways later in your life. A wonderful opportunity presented itself to me during my last layoff, a program where I could obtain my high school diploma, as well as a certificate to become a Continuing Care Assistant. I applied and was accepted. ~ Sharon graduated in June in Truro.

Learning is key to adaptation in today’s world, and will become even more so in the future. To build the future we want, we need a long-term commitment to lifelong learning for all Nova Scotians. We all have a role to play.

On September 8th, join millions of Canadians in reaching their full potential by celebrating literacy. Practice lifelong learning with literacy activities.

  • Read a book, newspaper, magazine or on-line article
  • Read a story to your children or listen to them read you a story
  • Find a new recipe
  • Use social media, like Twitter, Facebook or a blog
  • Sign up for a course
  • Write a letter or email to a friend
  • Update your resume
  • Visit your local library and explore the many offerings. Renew your library card.

For more information on International Literacy Day, visit UNESCO’s website at

For information about an upgrading or literacy program, call Literacy Nova Scotia at 800-255-5203 and for more information about literacy in Nova Scotia visit LNS’s website at


For more information:

Ann Marie Downie
Literacy Nova Scotia

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