File photo

File photo

REACH A READER 2021: The many colours of literacy

It is quite thrilling to imagine the endless realms of ‘literacies’ we have yet to discover

Angelika SELLICK

Special to the Tribune

For many of us, the definition of literacy begins and ends with: 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 becomes 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 wing tips. In other words, we now see things we couldn’t see before.

READ MORE: Advocating for literacy

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 the Partner Assisted Learning Co-ordinator with Cariboo-Chilcotin Partners for Literacy.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

literaryWilliams Lake

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

Just Posted

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. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

The Williams Lake Trail Riders Arena is slated to have a new roof installed this spring after funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trail Riders Arena, stable stalls, to get new roof at Stampede Grounds

Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof

A sign is seen this past summer outside Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in First Nation completes second round of vaccinations

A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive

A 100 Mile RCMP officer stands watch at the intersction of Highway 97 and Horse Lake Road. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Volunteers, police search Highway 97 for articles related to high-speed chase

Search will stretch from Canco Gas Station in Lac La Hache to 150 Mile House.

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Most Read