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'Literacy is a really misunderstood issue': Organization looks to combat literacy rates in Saskatchewan


A literacy organization says they are concerned after statistics show that one in five people struggle to read, write, and do math.

United for Literacy, with locations in Saskatoon and Regina, told CTV News they want to improve the literacy rates locally and across the country.

“Literacy is a really misunderstood issue. People think that oh, you know, everyone who goes to school knows how to read and write,” Melanie Valcin, president and CEO of the organization said.

She said the consequences of poor literacy impacts the daily lives of those who struggle.

“They're also struggling with keeping employment. They are dealing with poor health. They are less civically engaged, and also in terms of the economy, whether it's in Saskatchewan or across the country, low literacy levels impact the capacity of people to join the employment market, and that has some negative consequences on our economy.”

Valcin said low literacy rates also impact the financial capabilities of individuals.

“Getting a mortgage, understanding all the numbers behind it, or just even being able to do a budget to keep your rent and your groceries and expenses under control.”

She said her organization was looking to reach out in Saskatchewan and across Canada to help those who need it the most.

“Whether it's their financial literacy skills, or their reading and writing skills so that they can get out of the cycle of poverty, enter the job market, and be involved in their community.”

She said it can be difficult to ask for help, but invited people to reach out to her organization if they need help.

“United for Literacy is present in Saskatchewan. We're in Saskatoon. We're about to start new programs in Regina. But there are also other organizations across the country that people can access. There's no judgment. We're just here to help.” Top Stories

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