What is literacy?

noun: literacy
  1. -the ability to read and write.

    -synonyms: ability to read and write, reading/writing proficiency;

    -learning, book learning, education, scholarship, schooling
    “literacy and numeracy are the first goals of education”
    -competence or knowledge in a specified area.
    “wine literacy can’t be taught in three hours”
Literacy, to me, has always been so intriguing. The thought that we can process our thoughts through writing, and not only the verbal.  When the words seem to simply escape our minds before they exit from our mouths, writing can provide such a power and grace to the person trying to portray any sort of information. It gives time to process information, elaborate, and convey exactly how one is feeling in that moment. Grammar, sentence structure, and fluidity in any form of literature are my jam. There are few things I adore as much as a well written piece of work.

I think my own passion for this area stems from my earlier days, through the work I was exposed to and experienced, in and through writing letters to pen pals. Up until this point, I had never really written or received a letter specifically addressed to me. The idea that communication can expand beyond friends that I see everyday at school, and family that I spend everyday with at home, was revolutionary to me. This was before any sort of instant messenger, and long before texting. We were able to get to know students of a similar age, in another province, by writing letters back and forth to one another. We were blessed with the opportunity to actually meet these friends in person a while later, after we had gotten to know each other over the course of the year. By this point in time, it already felt like we knew each other fairly well, as if we had been friends for ages. I am well aware that the concept of letter writing is not new or innovative, by any means, but to little me, it opened a new door to this entire world that I hadn’t a clue existed. From this moment onwards, my life was changed, and I really haven’t halted my passion ever since. I would much rather send a letter across the country that very well may take weeks to arrive, than send a message that will be received almost instantaneously. There’s more effort, thought, and love put into a hand written letter, and I thrive off of that.

Literacy does not comprise solely of written works, it encompasses a great deal, which surely also includes literature.

  1. written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.
    “a great work of literature”

While I am certain that there are some who may prefer reading over writing, or vice versa, these two really do go hand in hand. They work alongside each other, and arguably help better one another. If there is an adult or a child who struggles with writing, they can improve their skills in this area by grasping further knowledge of literature. This can expand vocabulary, improve spelling, and provide new ideas for the writer to explore.

I had a desire for reading, for as long as I can remember. I would spend my recess in the library sorting, organizing, and reading books. I was most certainly “that library kid”, and I loved every minute of it. The library was a sort of saving grace for me, as I knew that I was always welcomed there, and it gave me a place to escape the chaotic and refocus. It brought comfort to me, and through this, my intrigue into the world of literature grew into a passion that I still hold dear to me to this day. This, in fact, sparked enough of an interest in me, that I am now pursuing a career with the end goal of becoming an elementary school librarian, so I can help create this safe place for students to come and explore their own paths.



Definitions for this blog post were found on Google dictionary. 

8 thoughts on “What is literacy?

  1. I’m now not positive where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I must spend a while finding out much more or working out more. Thank you for great info I was searching for this info for my mission.


    1. Hey Alex! Thanks for commenting! It’s a topic I am pretty passionate about, so most of this is a personal reflection. There are a few bits where I pulled a dictionary defintion of the words, which I will reference at the bottom of my article. Thank you for your thoughts, glad I could help!


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