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Giving Voice: Your Literacy News Fall 2023

Lucy Baum, photo by Talia Dezso Photography

Lucy Baum: Community Outreach Advocate

Lucy is transitioning from Executive Director into the pivotal role of Community Outreach Advocate. This strategic move reflects her unwavering commitment to empowering communities through literacy. She will focus on nurturing relationships, and building partnerships and community ambassadors, in the pursuit of equitable access to quality literacy for all.

Lucy is excited about this new opportunity and is “eager to continue working closely with communities, stakeholders, and partners, fostering a world where literacy becomes a universal right and a vehicle for progress.” 

Pictured left to right at the West Island Blues Festival in July: DDO councillor and Blues Festival Co-founder Errol Johnson, Literacy Unlimited Board Member Leslie Carr, Julia Asselstine making her inaugural appearance with Literacy Unlimited, and Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor and Blues Fest Co-founder Jim Beis.

Julia Asselstine: New Executive Director

We’re thrilled to introduce Julia Asselstine as our new Executive Director and we couldn’t be more excited about the future. With a career spanning two decades in nonprofit and corporate leadership, strategy, and communications, Julia has a knack for turning strategic visions into tangible results. Her belief in literacy as the key to unlocking human potential is at the heart of her leadership philosophy.

Julia has this to say, “I’ve always been passionate about enabling individuals to unlock their full potential. Literacy is the cornerstone of this journey, equipping us with the essential skills for empowerment and liberation.”

Did you know that today is International Literacy Day?

International Literacy Day, marked every year on September 8th, is a special day dedicated to recognizing the significance of literacy and education. This tradition began in 1967, and since then, it has grown into an important event emphasizing how literacy benefits individuals and communities.

Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies

This year’s theme is “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.” Progress stimulates people to improve their skills, including literacy. You can read more about it on the UNESCO website.

Literacy is a fundamental human right and a catalyst for personal, professional and community growth.

Low literacy among adults is a challenge for many individuals in Canada and Quebec. Despite our reputation for quality education, approximately 40%-50% of adults in our community need help with fundamental literacy skills, including reading, writing, numeracy, and problem-solving. Low literacy also affects our society and economy.

Individuals with inadequate literacy skills often have lower incomes, limited job opportunities, and a higher risk of unemployment. 

But we continue to solve low literacy, thanks to your support! We do this by:

  • Raising awareness: Discussing literacy openly plays a crucial role in diminishing the stigma connected to low literacy levels. It helps individuals understand that they are not alone in facing these challenges.
  • Community engagement: Local organizations can play an important role in ensuring that their volunteers and staff know how to spot certain signs that may indicate low literacy levels and guide these individuals toward the valuable services Literacy Unlimited provides.
  • Employers: Workplace literacy programs can empower your staff, enabling them to reach their full potential. These programs can enhance productivity, foster better communication, and minimize misunderstandings and errors. By investing in workplace literacy, businesses can pave the way for sustained, long-term growth.

Celebrate International Literacy Day with Literacy Unlimited


Visit our booth this weekend and discover why literacy is challenging in the West Island. You can also explore how you can make a meaningful impact on improving English language literacy in our community.

Upcoming Events

Your Impact: 650 books for the West Island Mission’s Back-to-School Event

(Ingrid to send photos) Literacy Unlimited gave more than 650 brand-new books to the West Island Mission‘s Annual Back-to-School event. This event assists families by providing necessary supplies. The children start the school year with a fresh backpack filled with new school materials and other important items. They also have the chance to pick books they find interesting, which encourages a love for reading. Additionally, the West Island Mission organizes a book drive in early summer to ensure students have many books to choose from.

Literacy Quebec Academy

In time for International Literacy Day, Literacy Quebec has launched LQ Academy, a collection of eLearning courses.

Literacy Quebec has split its original Literacy and Clear Language 101 into three foundational courses with added content.

The foundational courses are:

  • Lit 101: Exploring Literacy
  • Lit 102: Supporting Adults with Low Literacy Skills
  • Lit 103: Practising Clear Writing and Design

More courses will be added in the coming months.
LQ Academy is designed for anyone who wants to explore a wide range of literacy-related topics. If you interact with the general public, create communications material, or are just curious about literacy, you should check them out!

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