Slipping Through The Cracks
Joe didn’t know where to start. He slipped through the cracks. He didn’t develop strong reading and writing skills before leaving school after grade 10. A young family and supportive wife sent Joe to The Learning Place after the loss of his job. Here he improved the skills he needed to help him find a new job. Now a parking control officer, Joe is a happy, contributing member of both the workforce and his community.
Joe’s story is an unfortunate one, particularly because it’s a common one -- a student “slipping through the cracks”, resulting in low level literacy and basic skills. If that student successfully goes through life “hiding” their low level literacy problem, chances are that they do little to nothing to improve it because they become good at concealing it.
It can be difficult to identify illiteracy because it carries such a stigma. A recent study found that some people find literacy problems more embarrassing than an incestuous relationship.
Does Canada have a literacy crisis?
- Four in 10 high school youth have insufficient reading skills. Two in 10 university graduates, five in 10 adults, and six in 10 immigrants also have insufficient literacy skills… While both levels of government are engaged in literacy programs, there is little evidence that it is working. Canada is losing billions because of illiteracy. (Toronto Dominion Report – Literacy Matters, 2007).
- By 2031, more than 15 million Canadian adults — three million more than today — will have low literacy levels. The rise will be greatest in Ottawa (80%, to 500,000 adults). The number of Canadian adults with low literacy levels will increase 25% in the next two decades, creating a "literacy dilemma" if the problem isn't addressed immediately. (Canadian Council on Learning, The Future of Literacy in Canada's Largest Cities report, Sep 8, 2010)
- With health-literacy skills considered to be at level two and below, 60% of adult Canadians lack the capacity to obtain, understand and act upon health information and services and to make appropriate health decisions on their own. (Canadian Council on Learning Health Literacy in Canada. 2007)
Do you know someone, whether it’s a family member, friend, employee, or colleague, who has difficulty maintaining employment? Do they tend to bounce from job to job without longevity, or whenever you give them something to read, they always say they left their reading glasses at home? Chances are that low level literacy may be the culprit. Don’t let them slip through the cracks any more, refer them to The Learning Place. We’ll help them change their life for the better.