Good Reads Turns Learners into Readers

(Toronto, ON – October 9, 2012) Good Reads books address a widely acknowledged problem: there is a significant shortage of pleasure reading books for adult literacy learners.

“The Good Reads project is helping to ensure that all adults, regardless of their literacy skills, have an opportunity to access literature by well-known Canadian authors,” said Dr. Pat Campbell, president of Good Reads publisher Grass Roots Press. “Good Reads books provide a bridge to other worlds and allow all adults to read for pleasure.”

Good Reads are short books written for adult literacy learners, and are intended reflect the learners’ realities and experience for a culturally diverse audience at an appropriate reading level.

Since April 2009, more than 10,000 Good Reads books have reached adult learners across Canada.

“Good Reads have truly moved the marker in increasing reading skills and building reading confidence in the lives of adult learners,” says Margaret Eaton, president of ABC Life Literacy Canada. “We thank the Government of Canada for their valued contribution to providing learning opportunities.”

Thanks to three-year support from the Government of Canada through the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the first six Good Reads titles launched in 2010, and five more titles launched in 2011. Grass Roots Press is committed to publishing more Good Reads books; four new titles will be released in September 2012, and another four titles in 2013.

“The books’ readability is a great feature. These books have made novels accessible to students. Having them has opened new doors and new opportunities for people in our community who wouldn’t otherwise read for pleasure,” said Rachel Posch, of The John Howard Society in Edmonton, AB. “Most of the other books available at the appropriate reading level are for children or teenagers. Adult learners can relate to Good Reads books.”

In a recent survey of literacy practitioners, all agreed that Good Reads’ value is “excellent.” Some literacy centres have even been inspired to start learner book clubs.

“We’re very happy with the program. We feel that it’s filling a gap,” said Avril Lewis, Literacy Practitioner, Halifax Community Learning Network. “With Good Reads the students have progressed in their reading.”


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