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LETTERS: Literacy helps reduce poverty

Published on September 1, 2017

We were disappointed to learn that the P.E.I. Literacy Alliance may shut its doors because of the federal government’s decision not to restore funding to the organization.

The Alliance delivers crucial programs and supports directly to Islanders. The United Way of P.E.I., along with the provincial government and other contributors, is currently funding two of the Alliance’s programs: Ready Set Learn - works with children in grades K-6 Island wide to engage them in year-round learning; and Volunteers for Literacy - connects adults and seniors with mentors to improve literacy skills through one-to-one tutoring.
The United Way has a thorough and vigorous community investment process. We support organizations based on the long-term positive impacts they will have on the province. These initiatives were funded because they are proven effective and support the most vulnerable Islanders, including children, seniors, newcomers, and people living with low incomes.
Accessibility to high-quality literacy programs is key to reducing poverty. A small investment now can contribute to stronger communities for all Islanders in the future. According to TD Economics, “Higher literacy can boost the economic and financial success of individual and the economy as a whole. It can reduce poverty, improve health, life community engagement and lead to a higher standard of living.”
It is important that we, as a community, support the Alliance. Please write to, or speak with your MLA and your MP to let them know your concerns about the impact of losing these valuable literacy programs and services in P.E.I.

Andrea MacDonald,
CEO, United Way of P.E.I.