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Frontier College announces new name

Nov. 28 2022

On November 9, 2022, Frontier College, Canada’s charitable literacy organization announced a name change to United for Literacy, signaling an ambitious next chapter in its 123-year history of creating access to literacy for people of all ages and backgrounds.

As an organization committed to removing barriers to learning, the new name better reflects its mission, values, and aspiration to mobilize a national movement that spotlights the power of literacy. “We believe literacy is a human right,” said Mélanie Valcin, president and CEO, United for Literacy. “As an organization we reexamined our role and realized we needed a name that really spoke to what we do and why it matters. United for Literacy clearly describes our purpose, values, and approach. We mobilize volunteers, partners, and communities in a common cause: to ensure everyone has the skills and confidence they need to reach their goals through the power of literacy.”

Fostering literacy in all communities has never been more important. More than one million children in Canada—at least one in eight—are not reading at grade level. Children who face systemic barriers, such as poverty, are struggling the most. (Source: Deloitte LLP. An Economic Overview of Children's Literacy in Canada)

Research shows that children in lower socioeconomic communities are almost two times as likely to be behind in early development skills as compared to their higher socioeconomic status peers.(Source: Pan-Canadian Public Health Network)

Early gaps in schooling or socioeconomic factors mean many people are playing catch-up from the beginning. In contrast, improving literacy improves people’s lives. Canadian data shows that people with higher levels of literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills report better health and stronger connections with their communities and society. Literacy upgrading also has a positive impact on higher earnings and job retention. United for Literacy’s programs are free and involve a learner-centric approach—tailored to a person’s skills, interests, experience, culture, and goals—engaging the learner in deciding what they want and need to learn.

This is the organization’s fourth name change since 1899, reflecting how it has adapted to the changing needs of the people and communities it supports.
Logo - United for Literacy
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