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Literacy Outside the Box

March 23, 2011

TORONTO, Ontario – March 22, 2011 – From March 23rd to March 26th at the Toronto Free Gallery, the students of Frontier College’s Beat the Street program prove that there is more to literacy learning than writing essays. Their art show, Literacy Outside the Box: Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) Through Art, highlights the discovery of individual voice through a variety of media that include photography, poetry and collage.

For the past five months, students have been engaged in an art project as part of their regular literacy class activities. The resulting show, Literacy Outside the Box, is an inspiring and thought-provoking display of artwork and images that explore a diversity of difficult themes. From excessive waste in Toronto to love to verbal abuse – these are issues and ideas that come from and matter to the students. The show also illuminates an empowering classroom process that embraces a holistic approach to education and literacy.

Beat the Street/Literacy and Basic Skills is a program of Frontier College that delivers learner-centered programming to at-risk youth. The Literacy Outside the Box project springs from a growing movement that recognizes the advantages of including art in literacy programming. Recent research has identified many ways in which art contributes to the literacy environment, including building community, self-esteem and confidence, reducing stress, and helping student discover strengths as well as different ways of learning and knowing.

“With so many students dropping out of school these days, we need to find ways to engage youth in projects that are interesting, creative, and meaningful to them. We have to bring holistic practices to literacy learning,” says Rosita Bacchus, program coordinator for Frontier College’s Beat the Street/Literacy and Basic Skills. “Art – whether it is poetry, spoken word, or painting – allows students to write and express themselves in words or images that are not bound by the confines of traditional literacy practices. It opens up the possibilities for creativity as well as alternative, holistic approaches to learning.”

The art show will run from March 23rd to March 26th at the Toronto Free Gallery, open to the public Wednesday to Saturday from 1pm – 5pm. Admission is free.


About Frontier College
Literacy is an essential skill in today’s world. At Frontier College, we believe it’s a fundamental right.
Low literacy skills are directly linked to poverty, poor health and high unemployment. Over forty percent of adult Canadians have trouble with everyday tasks that involve reading. That’s millions of Canadians who are not reaching their potential. Through a network of thousands of volunteers, Frontier College is helping children, youth and adults realize their potential and seize the opportunities that come their way.

For more information about Frontier College, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Sandi Kiverago, Director of Communications
Frontier College, 416-923-3591 x318


Rebecca Melville, Frontier College volunteer
(647) 929-5255

For more information contact:
Sandi Kiverago
Director of Communications
Frontier College
Phone: 416-923-3591, ext. 318
Cell: 416-841-1212

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Frontier College


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