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Literacy project may spread

5 September 2004

By Dave Laurence

Story courtesy of the Wanganui Chronicle, Thursday 26 August 2004.

Wanganui's trail-blazing literacy and employment research project may eventually be picked up by other centres.

This possibility was raised in a report to the Wanganui District Council community development committee yesterday.

The three and a-half-year project has attracted funding of more than $2 million from the Government's Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

Project team leader associate Professor Frank Sligo, who is head of Massey University's communication and journalism department, described it as a collaborative research project with strong community support.

The initiative arose from concern over low levels of literacy and numeracy skills in Wanganui and their links with (un)employment.

Community development manager Rosemary Hovey said the objectives included identifying the social, attitudinal and economic barriers to adult literacy, numeracy and analytical thinking skills.

There would be a database of meaningful, relevant information about the link between adult literacy and employment and links with other issues such as crime, health and housing.

"It is anticipated the results of the project based on Wanganui will be transferable to other centres," Mrs Hovey said.

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