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Lifelong learning

GUEST POST BY AIMEE JEFFREY, Adult Literacy Librarian

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For over 40 years UNESCO has promoted International Literacy Day on September 8 to focus attention on literacy issues and needs. It’s estimated that more than 970 million of the world’s population don’t know how to read or write, and many children lack access to education.

From a local perspective, did you know that low literacy affects 24% of the population (adults 16 years +) in Waterloo- Wellington? These adults lack the skills to deal with everyday printed materials. Does that number surprise you?

Literacy in 21st century Canada means more than knowing how to read, write or calculate. Many people with low literacy skills have some reading, writing and math skills, but they may lack the skills needed to cope with the demands of our rapidly changing society and job market.

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How can a book club change your life?

book clubWant to feel healthier? Research consistently indicates that social ties are good for your health. So good, in fact, that one study suggests if you don’t currently belong to a group and you join one now, you can cut your your chance of dying in half for the next year.

What else makes you feel happier and healthier? Reading. Research indicates that reading reduces stress, increases memory function, can help prevent Alzheimer’s, and makes you more empathetic.

Here’s an easy way to double your happiness/healthiness quotient in one fell swoop. Join a book club! Kitchener Public Library offers several different book clubs – all are free and new members are always welcome. We’ve got a book club that’s the right size and shape for you:

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