Civic Literacy

What is civic literacy?

Civic literacy is the knowledge and skills you need to participate in making change in your community. In Canada, this includes:

· Voting

· Knowing how the government works

· Rights and responsibilities of citizens and elected members of government

When you have strong civic literacy skills, you know how to make your voice heard by all levels of government—before, during and after an election. We want every Canadian to vote, and every person to let the country know their beliefs, needs and wants.

That’s why this year, ABC Life Literacy Canada partnered with Elections Canada to examine how we’re teaching Canadians about the democratic process—and how we can open it up to everyone, including adults with low literacy skills.

ABC Life Literacy Canada is committed to:

·Review civic education materials to ensure they can be accessed by adults who struggle with reading and writing

·Conducting research into civic literacy, including effective strategies for teaching it, and how it relates to adults with low literacy

·Creating recommendations for improving existing civic education tools across Canada


Last year, ABC Life Literacy Canada partnered with Elections Canada to create

A Guide to Voting: A Literacy Practitioner Workbook for Voting in the 2015 Federal Election.

Download the Resource

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We created this resource to help literacy practitioners engage adult learners in civic literacy in advance of the October 2015 federal election. The information, links and suggested activities help students learn about voting basics such as where, when and ways to register to vote. They also guide practitioners through talking to their students about why voting is important and what to expect at a polling station.

Each page of A Guide to Voting includes links for more information. We have also included a step-by-step activity at the end of the booklet to help practitioners and learners hold their own practice election in the classroom or at home. Practice elections are our favourite tool for getting learners comfortable and confident with voting.


Looking for more resources? 

Elections Canada has launched a series of shareable online products with information on where, when and ways to register and vote. Elections Canada has also launched a series of print products that can be distributed to your networks. These products include:

· My Voters Guide

· List of accepted voter ID

· Students – Get Ready to Vote Postcard

· Registration and ID Flyer (Voter’s Checklist)

To request copies, contact Elections Canada’s Enquiries Unit at 1-800-463-6868 or order online.

Canada’s Democracy Week 2016

Canada’s Democracy Week will take place September 15–22, 2016. The theme this year is ”Teaching democracy: Let’s talk teacher needs.”

CDW2016 will seek to:

·Inform Canadians on where, when and ways to register and vote

·Identify ways for educators and pre-voters to discover the Canadian electoral process during an election year and participate in election-related programming 

Visit Canada’s Democracy Week website for a fact sheet on how to get involved. 

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