The National Literacy Secretariat is pleased to help introduce this year's Read Up On It. We value the work of the National Library of Canada and are pleased to be one of the Library's partners in offering this valuable resource to Canadians. We encourage you to make full use of the reading lists and other resources found between the covers of this kit.
The theme this year is sports. Read Up On It offers wonderful ideas to entice even the most dedicated armchair athlete to participate in the best activity of all reading. Our studies show us that literacy skills, like muscles, must be used every day to be kept strong and vital. Our research also tells us that children who learn at an early age to become regular readers will develop the skills they will need to sail safely through life, an experience made rich by literacy and learning.
An increasingly popular phrase is "lifelong learning". Governments, labour unions and business leaders are realizing something that educators, literacy practitioners and librarians have known all along: learning does not stop when school ends. We need to learn new skills continuously and acquire new knowledge to keep up with changes in our jobs, in our communities and in our homes. And literacy is the essential element that makes learning possible. Through our work we are discovering the pivotal role strong reading skills play in equipping both children and adults to meet the challenges of this fast-paced, ever-changing world.
Libraries and literacy go together, like a ballplayer's hand in a well-used glove. So catch the idea that this kit is pitching: if you do not exercise your reading and writing skills you could lose them. In any sport you wish to play well you must practice in order to win. So it is with literacy. And the rewards of reading are invaluable.
James E. Page