A new literacy organization links literacy to solving homelessness

New angle on literacy

Decoda Solutions, a new provincial literacy organization, is hoping to take a step forward in the promotion of literacy and will expand the concept of literacy and hopefully benefit communities.

Literacy is a “key strategy” not a charity.

Decoda Solutions, a new provincial literacy organization, is hoping to take a step forward in the promotion of literacy and will expand the concept of literacy and hopefully benefit communities.

With past literacy organizations and efforts making few inroads to lowering the rates of people in the province who struggle with reading and writing skills, Decoda aims at literacy a little differently.

The organization hopes to promote literacy a little differently by working to make the end goal the reduction of poverty, homelessness, and increasing workplace safety and business productivity.

Improving literacy is only a way to achieve those goals.

“Because literacy affects virtually all parts of our daily lives – from filling a prescription, to going to the bank, training to do a job or knowing how to keep your family safe – it can be argued that it is the single most important key to our social and economic success,” said Brenda Le Clair, CEO of Decoda. “That’s why our goal is to take literacy to the next level in B.C. by expanding our partner base and finding the kind of sustainable funding and support that will allow literacy to move forward.”

Decoda came about when it was decided B.C. is at a crossroads.

Up to 35 per cent of people in the workplace are lacking literacy skills to meet challenges in their work and home.

“We need to stop looking at literacy as a “charity” and instead see it as a key strategy which – if invested in – can help solve fundamental societal and economic issues that include homelessness, poverty, safety in the workplace, escalating healthcare costs and workforce productivity,” emphasized Le Clair.

The name itself has meaning, referring to the “decoding” we must do in this age of information overload.

The Vancouver Sun is partnering with Decoda as a “Media Partner for Literacy,” encouraging and developing literacy.

While Decoda is based in downtown Vancouver, it will be working with literacy supporters in communities across the province.

“This intiative moves our entire literacy community both on a provincial and local level forward in an exciting and progressive way. I especially like the inclusion of the concept of decoding because that extends the definition of literacy beyond just learning literacy skills and into using them,” said Alex Michaels, Literacy Coordinator for the College of New Caledonia in Fort St. James.

The Caledonia Courier is also a proud local partner in literacy initiatives.