As someone who doesn’t remember a time when I couldn’t write, read and use mathematics, I find it hard to imagine how life must be if you have limited or no literacy. I’ve known adults who have hidden their lack of literacy well into their middle age, for fear of ridicule and embarrassment, but who, with support, have taken the steps to literacy and now are enjoying the freedom and excitement of even small things, such as reading the newspaper, writing emails to friends and yes, even reading the back of the cereal packet.
Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope – Kofi Annan
Literacy is fundamental in our ability to interact with the world, and our prisons, for example, are filled with those who have fallen through the literacy cracks and struggle with even the most basic levels of writing, reading and numeracy. It creates a separateness and isolates through embarrassment and usually unfounded feelings of being stupid or inadequate.
September 2- 8 is Adult Learners’ Week. The week incorporates International Literacy Day on September 8 and here at the Christchurch City Libraries, we have a wealth of resources to help increase literacy, whether you are a native speaker of English or not.
Libraries in your community are holding events during the week
You can also search our CINCH database to find community based programs aimed at improving and encouraging literacy, no matter where you are on the literacy ladder. Your local library has easy readers aimed at adults and books that can test you and give you practice on essential skills.
If you are looking for ways to be a life long learner, check out the resources available at your local library and online. We also have a large number of resources for people learning English as a second language. Our Mango Languages database has lessons for Japanese, Korean and Mandarin speaking people wanting to learn English.
If you are someone who struggles with literacy in any way, there is help out there, and the first step you take will help you travel into a whole new world.