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September 8, 2005
Toronto proclaims International Literacy Day
Mayor David Miller has proclaimed today, September 8 International Literacy Day
and September as International Literacy Month to re-affirm the City's
commitment to eliminate illiteracy by the year 2010.

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."

Toronto City Council's Working Group on Language Equity and Literacy, the
Toronto Public Library, the school boards and community organizations have
championed the importance of addressing this issue.

The City's campaign to eliminate illiteracy includes many actions, including:
  • 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 which increase voter participation in municipal elections
  • implementing a range of training and awareness programs, including accommodating employees with disabilities and ensuring that workplace literacy programs are offered.

In 2005 Toronto City Council expanded the funding and criteria for the access
and equity grants to address barriers towards literacy, in addition to human
rights education and advocacy against racism and hate activities.

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

Media contacts:

Priscilla Cranley
Strategic and Corporate Policy Division

Councillor Maria Augimeri
Ward 9 - York Centre

Councillor Gay Cowbourne
Ward 44 - Scarborough East



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