Story as Community - Life-wide Literacy to Transform Learning Loss and Isolation to Community Literacy and Joy

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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)

PCF10 Sub-theme: Building Resilience // The pandemic laid bare: all homes aren’t equitable learning spaces. Yet, education has long considered the family and home an extension of learning. // As a liberatory act, education must consider responsive, resilient practices for equity. // If education considers the family and home as an essential learning space, a continuation of the learning experience, the inequities must be addressed. In fact, Ulrike Hanemann (2015) argues for systemic change in the attitudes of societies to support learning as a life-wide process, disrupting the idea that it is merely a classroom-based endeavor, and expanding it to include literacy learning, in particular, as situated in social practice and understood as a continuum of learning. Hanemann advocates the development of ‘literate families,’ ‘literate communities,’ and ‘literate societies.' // Yet, currently, this assumption is essentially inequitable. Arguably, it is not just literacy learning, but learning in general which must be situated equitably within society-at-large. // For the past decade, Niteo’s work ( has almost exclusively focused on our global literacy equity, but now we also turn to address Covid-19’s impact on local literacy in Canada. // There are many challenges to SDG4 and literacy in Canada. Pre-pandemic, Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation’s statistics reported one out of eight students below the age of 15 and a quarter of early readers in Canada were not reading at grade level. For newcomers to Canada, the average literacy gap is equal to 3.5 years of schooling. This is not limited to newly-arrived newcomers, as established immigrants (10+ years in Canada) have a similar gap. Now, compounding this reality for newcomers is the impact of Covid - slowed academic progress, isolation, and loneliness. // We have learned much from our East African partners and can mirror their community literacy work here. // In a 2022 pilot, local newcomer families nominated by educators or NGOs, paired with UBC-O students, undertook an interest-based, intergenerational exploration of literacy learning in the spirit of play. Literacy access and equity were addressed by utilizing the resources of libraries to inspire the joy of reading. Activities together were built around Niteo’s two open education resources, When We Give Children Books and MicroCredential: Leadership in Literacy. The objective was to cultivate joyously literate communities through a focus on family-wide literacy habits to promote lifelong learning. // As a pathway to resilience and the delivery of a life-wide learning experience, this paper focuses on the Niteo pilot project "Story as Community" and its implications. // Paper ID 1704

Literacy,Open Educational Resources (OER),Women in Education,Resilience,Equity,Learning Loss,Community Learning,Lifelong Learning
Caribbean and Americas