To support adults and children so they can develop their ability to read and write and participate fully in society.
To eradicate illiteracy in Quebec.
History of the Foundation
A leader in Quebec, the Literacy Foundation (FPA) draws its expertise from an analysis of illiteracy issues and the solutions for eliminating illiteracy. To that end, the Foundation believes it is imperative to raise awareness of the importance of lifelong literacy and contribute to improving the quality of life of individuals who are illiterate or poor readers.
Since its inception in 1989, the Literacy Foundation has innovated by creating many projects that have made it known in Quebec, elsewhere in Canada, and on the international scene. From 1996 onward, it implemented sound strategic planning. The credibility of the social action proposed by the Foundation lies in the strength of its convictions and its profound belief in the need to generate change in society so as to enhance the quality of life of illiterate individuals, and thereby of the community at large.
Since Quebec was not immune to illiteracy, the representatives of the Équipe interrégionale en alphabétisation du Québec (interregional literacy team) mobilized for International Literacy Year, decreed in 1990 by UNESCO. Their aim was to mark the occasion with a major awareness campaign that would lead to the creation of the Literacy Foundation on November 14, 1989.
The cause: literacy
Literacy is a key instrument in adequately preparing people for the job market and for their self-fulfilment as citizens. It is a crucial ingredient in creating conditions conducive to a flourishing economy and a healthy exercise of democracy. It is essential for breaking the cycle of undereducation and illiteracy through substantial investment leading to promotion of reading in families, particularly those in underprivileged areas. If nothing is done, one child in five is likely to be illiterate, translating into an unacceptable loss of human capital for our society. There is an urgent need for action!
The Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a vast international survey conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) whose findings were released in 2013, tells us that:
- One person in five in Quebec has serious difficulty understanding and using a written text;
- Quebec ranks 10th among Canadian provinces and territories in terms of prose comprehension;
- The proportion of people with very low literacy skills has remained unchanged since 2003.
Other surveys and research conducted across Quebec reveal that:
- Close to one in two young people from underprivileged backgrounds does not complete high school;
- Thousands of Quebecers with low reading skills are confined to precarious, low-paying jobs or have to turn to Income Security.