Colour brings literacy alive (Black Press Media).

Colour brings literacy alive (Black Press Media).

Literacy: ‘Endless realms of literacies’ still to discover

For many of us, the definition of literacy means knowing how to read and write texts.

For many of us, the definition of literacy begins and ends with: literacy means knowing how to read and write texts.

I agree with that, but what if we took a step outside the traditional view of literacy as simply understanding printed text and moved into a more colourful view? Perhaps it would take us to a place where the ‘knowing of texts’ includes the everyday contexts in which we experience, interact, and participate in the world around us in respectful, meaningful, and fulfilling ways.

I know this may sound like a big leap to take, so maybe this will help. Imagine you are looking at a black and white photograph of a forest with a stream running through it. There are some birds perched in the branches of the trees and a child is playing in the leaves next to the stream.

Now, watch what happens when we allow in some colour. Suddenly the browns, oranges, and reds of the leaves which the child is throwing up in the air become apparent. We notice for the first time a brownish-green frog on a rock near the stream. We see the birds are blue with yellow wingtips. In other words, we now see things we couldn’t see before.

Similarly, if a splash of colour is added to the traditional idea of literacy, we might be able to see things differently. Now, literacy might mean being able to pick out the different instruments you hear in a great piece of music or it could mean knowing how to participate in a ceremony or tradition that is important to your family or cultural community.

With colour, what else is possible? Literacy is then perhaps knowing how to create with confidence a monthly budget. Literacy might mean recording yourself telling a story of significance and sharing it with friends and family through social media. Literacy could also mean knowing how to simultaneously move your arms through water and kick with your legs as you swim laps in the pool.

Science tells us that the colours found in a rainbow are actually infinite. In the same way, could we imagine that the colours of literacies (yes, ‘literacies’ as multiple) are also limitless? Think of all the possibilities! It is quite thrilling to imagine the endless realms of ‘literacies’ we have yet to discover and explore throughout our lives.

Angelika Sellick is a Partner Assisted Learning Coordinator with Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

100 Mile House

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Barb Matfin with the old Piston Bully at the 100 Mile Nordics. The club is looking to raise money to replace its aging fleet as the demand for cross-country skiing grows. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
100 Mile Nordics seek funds to upgrade equipment

Pisten Bully is 36 years old and replacement parts are hard to find, making it unreliable.

Murray Booth is a conservation officer in 100 Mile House. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Conservation officer game for anything

No day is ever the same for Murray Booth, one of two COs in 100 Mile House.

Interior Health has issued an overdose alert for 100 Mile House.
Interior Health issues overdose alert for 100 Mile House

Health officials encourage users to be careful and spread the word.

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read