Charlie Greene, Chair of the Literacy Development Council, was
interviewed by new Canadians learning to speak English. The students come from
many different countries. They attend classes at the Association for New
Canadians in St. John's.
- What does the Literacy Development Council
In Newfoundland and Labrador, literacy
levels are lower than they are in most other areas of Canada. This is partly
because being able to read and write was not really important in the early days
of the fishery. In those days, many people worked instead of going to school.
They fished in the summer time, worked in the lumber woods and managed their
lives without an education. Many were very successful.
When the fishery
failed in 1992, may people in Newfoundland and Labrador found themselves
without jobs. To make matters worse, many of them did not have the reading
skills they needed to retrain for other types of jobs. As a result, many could
not find work. The federal government tried to help them get skills and
The Literacy Development Council (LDC) was created in 1994 by
the provincial government to support literacy activities in Newfoundland and
Labrador. The LDC helps to organize activities that promote literacy, provides
resources and information to literacy groups and provides financial support for
- Why did you choose to work with Literacy and how long have
you been working with this council? (Jella Juvkovic)
was a person who read a lot. We were always reading. I left Newfoundland when I
was young and moved to British Columbia. I remember many people telling jokes
about other people and making comments about the literacy rate in this
province. This was true of Ontario as well. I decided that I wanted to help
people develop a love for learning. That is why I am involved as a volunteer
with the Literacy Development Council. As a province, our literacy level is
improving and there are many great success stories to be told.
- Have you always worked with the Bank of Montreal?
When I was young, I wanted to be a hockey
player but while playing hockey I had to work. I worked as a teacher, an
economist, and a hospital administrator. When I found out I wasn't going to be
a professional hockey player because I wasn't good enough, I became a