One in six Manitobans don’t have the literacy skills to read a bedtime story to their child.
And a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says there is one group in particular in our province who is falling through the cracks.
Researcher Jim Silver says there is a strong link between poverty and low literacy levels.
It’s a vicious cycle. Poverty leads to low literacy, which keeps people in poverty because they don’t have the reading skills to get a good job.
Silver says the province has some good programs to help people improve their literacy skills.
But those most impoverished and most in need aren’t.
“We’re lacking at the very lowest level – those who are very poor and whose literacy levels are very low and who need kind of a first step,” he said.
“(They need) a very local, community-based literacy program that’s foundational. That starts right from the beginning.”
Silver suggests locating that programming in Manitoba Housing complexes, where the need is great.