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  • Writer's pictureCarey Tate

Literacy Unlimited invites the West Island to R.E.A.D.

Reading a menu, a flyer, composing emails, or writing a paper seem like mundane tasks that some may take for granted, but they call for a required education and fluency in the language. Nearly one out of every two Canadians has low literacy, but these skills are key to navigating day-to-day tasks.

"Picking out a birthday card, reading a menu, or going to the grocery store are everyday things we may take for granted, without realizing how isolated some people feel during these routine tasks," says Lucy Baum, Community Outreach Advocate for Literacy Unlimited.

PHOTO: Literacy Unlimited


Literacy Unlimited, headquartered in Pointe-Claire, aims to improve adult English literacy through private tutoring and community programs. Lucy Baum, Community Outreach Advocate for the organization, explains barriers to accessing literacy education:

"As an adult with one or two jobs and family obligations, there is limited time, which can be one of many barriers to accessing literacy education. In some cases, they will not have sufficient literacy for adult education programs, and the stigma or shame surrounding low literacy as an adult can cause isolation," Baum continues.

The organization's Community Reads bookshelf at Volunteer West Island.

PHOTO: Literacy Unlimited

Dismantling stigmas and barriers surrounding adult literacy is the organization's aim. Their new R.E.A.D campaign is on a mission to incite public and corporate action to involve community and business leaders in combatting low literacy.

"Our R.E.A.D campaign stands for:

R = Realize this invisible issue affects people's lives and strive to understand and learn what low literacy means,

E = Empathize that unseen struggles create obstacles and vow to be part of the solution,

A = Act/ Awareness – engagement and participation, helping to get the word out about services,

D = Declare your support by taking the pledge and proudly advocating for a vision of literacy and access to education for all," Baum explains.


She hopes this campaign will increase the number of advocates who rally for the cause. She is eager to continue working closely with communities, stakeholders, and partners to help literacy become a universal right and a vehicle for progress.

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