Community Literacy of Ontario (CLO) is a network of more than 100 community-based Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) agencies located in communities, both large and small, across that province.
In Painting a Picture of Literacy, CLO presents 20 good reasons to invest in Ontario's LBS programs, arguing that improving literacy makes sense economically. The authors note that a one per cent increase in literacy skills would lead to an increase of $18.5 billion per year in Canada's Gross Domestic Product.
The authors point out that low literacy skills are associated with lower rates of employment, poorer health, less access to adult education and limited involvement in community groups. On the flip side, they use facts and figures to highlight the Return on Investment that new and enhanced community-based, literacy services have had for Ontario communities and adult learners.
After making a solid case for continued funding, CLO gives the last word on the subject to those individuals who have benefited directly from LBS programs. One such learner writes:
"I am writing to show my appreciation for the extra courses available at the Literacy Council. This course taught me many things that I can use every day. This course also motivated me to want to take more courses and expand my knowledge. My goal is to someday have completed enough courses to find employment using the skills I have learned."
CLO's document was prepared for a timely release on September 8, 2010: International Literacy Day.
To read the publication in its entirety, go to http://www.nald.ca/library/learning/clo/painting/painting.pdf.