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September 7, 2006
Toronto proclaims International Literacy Day - September 8
Mayor David Miller has proclaimed September 8 International Literacy Day and September as International Literacy Month to re-affirm the City’s commitment to work towards the elimination of illiteracy.

Mayor Miller’s proclamation notes that “More than 24 per cent of Torontonians can read only simple words or sentences. Literacy is everyone’s right. It is nothing less than the right to full participation in society.”

“Reading and writing is everyone’s basic right. Without those essential life skills no individual can reach their full potential or be actively involved in every aspect of their life, their community and their city,” said Councillor Gay Cowbourne, Chair of City Council’s Working Group on Language Equity and Literacy.

Toronto City Council’s Working Group on Language Equity and Literacy, the Toronto Public Library, the school boards and community organizations continue to be champions for the right to literacy and numeracy.

The City of Toronto’s support for the campaign to eliminate illiteracy includes many actions, such as:
• striving to communicate in plain and understandable language
• advocating for multi-lingual literacy
• advocating and working as a partner with the school system to acquire adequate funding from the Province of Ontario to continue community use of space in schools - for use by homework clubs, literacy and upgrading classes
• advocating for methods that increase voter participation in municipal elections
• implementing a range of training and awareness programs, including accommodating employees with disabilities and workplace literacy programs
• support for annual festivals such as the Word on the Street
• celebration of reading and writing through the City of Toronto Book Awards.

The United Nations has proclaimed 2003-2012 as the United Nations Literacy Decade.

Media contacts:
Councillor Gay Cowbourne, Ward 44 Scarborough East, 416-392-1373
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, City Manager’s Office, 416-392-6824



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