Friday, January 23, 2009

National Strategy on Literacy

National Strategy for Early Literacy- Invitation to Submit Information Briefs and participate in a National Consultation.

I attended an information session on this yesterday and encourage anyone or any organization that has thoughts on improving literacy to consider making a submission. As has been documented, low literacy levels have very detrimental effects on physical and mental health, productivity and success in life.

Here's the info:
The National Strategy for Early Literacy (NSEL) is a Canada-wide initiative to improve the literacy skills of Canadian children and youth. NSEL engages in a broad coalition of organizations and individuals to understand and describe what can be done to improve literacy outcomes for young Canadians and to put these actions into practice. The conclusion of the NSEL process will be a coherent, feasible, evidence-based national strategy for early literacy, including a clear statement of activities required and of the organizations that must take responsibility for these actions.

The NSEL initiative is being coordinated by the Canadian Language and Literacy Network (, a Canada-wide network engaging practitioners, policymakers, researchers and trainees in every province and territory with the common goal of improving literacy skills in Canada. (As a side note, Stats Canada reports that more than 9 million people- or 4 out of 10- Canadian adults struggle with literacy, language and numeracy problems every day and there has been no improvement in this situation for more than a decade.)
A series of “hearings” relating to the National Strategy initiative will be held across Canada in March 2009. (For Alberta, it will take place in Edmonton on March 9). These consultations provide an opportunity for presentations that are focused on issues relating to improving literacy skills of young Canadians. They are open to the public and observers are most welcome. It is expected that the media will be in attendance.

Parties interested in presenting are invited to submit an information brief (max 5 pages) in advance. From the submissions received, the panel will select a list of presenters that cover a variety of perspectives, with each presenter allotted 15 minutes.

Information briefs should be sent by FEBRUARY 15 to in order to allow the panel sufficient time to go through the selection process.

If you cannot make the February deadline, you are still encouraged to submit information from your organization to the above email address anytime during February or early March, as all submissions will be considered in the final report.

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