Monday, January 27, 2014

MHA highlights government’s Top Ten literacy failures on Family Literacy Day

For Immediate Release

January 27, 2014

MHA highlights government’s Top Ten literacy failures on Family Literacy Day

St. John’s—Monday, January 27 is Family Literacy Day in Canada. This is a day for schools and libraries across the province to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) says the Conservative provincial government has failed to take needed steps over the past decade to advance literacy in cooperation with parents, students, teachers, and others in our communities.

“I have mixed feelings about celebrating Family Literacy Day,” Kirby says. “The provincial government is encouraging families to take time each day to engage in literacy activities but they have shown such little action in actually improving literacy in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Kirby has released the following list of the provincial government’s Top Ten literacy failures to illustrate the lack of real action on literacy and the backward steps they have taken in recent years:

10. Ignoring calls from towns like Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s for public library resources

9. Closing the library in St. Lunaire-Griquet and failing to invest in new libraries on the Great Northern Peninsula

8. Failing to deliver on the long-standing promise to create a Strategic Adult Literacy Plan

7. Failing to address the growing gap between the reading achievement of boys and girls

6. Ignoring the low literacy rate of the adult population in Newfoundland and Labrador – the lowest in Canada

5. Cutting the number of librarians in the Newfoundland and Labrador public library system

4. Backtracking on the promise to increase access to the Comprehensive Arts and Science Transition Program at College of the North Atlantic

3. Cutting $1.2 million from public library funding in the last provincial budget

2. Cutting the number of specialist learning resource teachers in schools

1. Canceling all Adult Basic Education programs at College of the North Atlantic

“Family Literacy Day is an ideal time for government to reflect on its failures in the area of family literacy and make new efforts to ensure all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have the literacy skills they need to access education and employment opportunities,” says Kirby.


For more information, please contact:
Dale Kirby, MHA,, Tel: 709-729-6921

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