What is Literacy?

Did you know that 22% of the population of Durham Region do not have the literacy skills they need?

Literacy is a person’s ability to understand and use written information. It is more than being able to read and write. It is the ability to understand and use printed information in daily activities, at work, and in the community.

Literacy is a ‘Use it or lose it skill’. Without regular use a person’s literacy skills decrease over time. This means that someone who struggled through school and did not use any of his or her skills for many years would find it very difficult to read and write at a level necessary for many daily tasks. This means that many people have some literacy skills but are unable to read or write comfortably and struggle to communicate effectively. Imagine having to write an email at work when you struggle to write a simple sentence or trying to help your child to do their English homework when you have difficulty reading their book.


Photo credit: Ewa Rozkosz via Foter.com / CC BY-SA