Word on the Street Festival advocates literacy in Sask.

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WATCH ABOVE: The Word on the Street Festival took over Broadway Avenue on Sunday, all to celebrate reading and advocate for literacy in the province – Sep 24, 2017

Margy Reid has written five children’s books and this summer, she published her first novel, Once Broken.

The author from Milden, Sask. showcased her work on Sunday at the Word on the Street Festival in Saskatoon.

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“To me, this is just the gate that begins the whole world of learning,” explained Reid at her table on Broadway Avenue.

Now in its seventh year, the Word on the Street Festival is Saskatoon’s book and magazine festival.

“You’re in screens 24/7 almost with your phones and everything, and this still lets your imagination have a way to go, an escape for your imagination. It’s not dictated what people look like, it’s not dictated where it’s set, it’s not dictated the time,” Reid said.

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The festival features more than 30 authors and dozens of vendors.

“Word on the Street is about getting people out and actually going from tent to tent and feeling not only the joy of the reading, but the joy of community,” said Silvia Martini, the festival’s co-chair.

According to the Saskatchewan Literacy Network, there are a number of literacy challenges in the province.

“There’s a lot of different research about how literacy is doing in the province, and it hasn’t really changed, it hasn’t gotten much better over the years,” said Phaedra Hitchings, the executive director of the Saskatchewan Literacy Network.

“We have a lot of work to do, so the awareness is key to be able to share that it is a challenge for people in Saskatchewan,” Hitchings said.

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Organizers say the event aims to advocate for literacy and encourage reading in the province.

“We have almost a 50 per cent challenged literacy rate in Saskatchewan, and so what it does is it equalizes. It’s a free admission festival, so it’s for everybody,” Martini said.