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LAWN celebrates International Literacy day with a contest

Today is International Literacy Day, and Sudbury’s Mid-North Network, a literacy organization, has a video naming contest to celebrate.

The video is narrated by Literacy Alliance of West Nipissing (LAWN) Director, Nanditta Colbear, and the winner will earn themselves a cool $250 gift card to a store of their choosing.

Colbear says the video not only promotes literacy, but also her organization (and other literacy organization’s across the province).

“[The Mid-North Network’s] goal is to promote literacy awareness. I was approached by them and was asked to share my thoughts on literacy. I wrote a page out and send it to them. They had asked me to simply speak from the heart.”

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Colbear wrote about how her organization has grown and made its presence felt through innovation and forward-thinking.

“Part of the reason for our success is both our board of directors as well as our team… we don’t look at literacy as just a funded program. We look at it as an integral part of our community and it’s growth,” she said.

Colbear has now called West Nipissing home for many years, but the first quarter of her life was spent in India. That upbringing has left literacy close to her heart.

“Today India has moved so far ahead and competes globally… but in the ’60s and ’70s, it was a third world country. Literacy, especially among females was not common.  I associate literacy with communications. Without literacy, we have no communication. As a Nation, now, we are falling behind. We confuse the word illiterate with the word literacy. Those are two different things in my opinion. To be literate is thinking processes, it’s problem-solving, it’s finding your goal, achieving them through your brain. Illiterate means simply not having the opportunity to have gone through the formal education system. No ABC’s, etc. There are some who have attended university, who have masters, but I consider literacy derelicts. They’ve abandoned the thinking process. They’re caught up in academics. That doesn’t make you a contributing citizen. You need to think. You need to problem-solve. That’s our goal at LAWN.”

Colbear hopes that the video gets many shares throughout the community and province so people can see what her organization and organizations like hers can offer.

“All you need to participate is an e-mail address. We’re hoping it catches the eyes of some people who have the ability to change the landscape. We’re not trying to catch more learners… we’re trying to catch politicians. We want to create awareness and promote what it is we do.” she said.

She says LAWN’s literacy programs are not simply teaching someone the basics or helping them earn high school credits or GED’s, but they also set the learner up with the ability to navigate in a digital world.

“Everything we do, it focuses on having the ability to look at information, scan the data, and process it. Whether it’s secondary school diploma credits or high-school equivalency tests; we want them to show up, first and foremost. Then we work with them to forget their failures. Then the next thing you know they are passing and they are getting high marks. Our mission is to provide our clients with quality learning to fuel their pursuit for growth and foster a desire for lifeline learning. ” she finished.

To view the video and to participate in the contest click here.

The contest’s deadline is September 21.

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