A Moncton teen is encouraging more youth to read Atlantic Canadian books through her social media platforms.
As a youth ambassador for Digitally Lit, 16-year-old Moriya Boyle has used social media to influence more than 80,000 potential readers across Atlantic Canada and the world.
“I personally started during the pandemic and I found my love for reading again,” said Boyle.
Boyle explained she started working with Digitally Lit about a year ago. Digitally Lit: Atlantic Canadian Youth Read is a youth engagement strategy that aims to bridge literary and digital practices with Atlantic Canadian youth.
“We would love to make a connection with literature and social media and it is an easier way to bring awareness to the youth,” she said.
Boyle said the program focuses on empowerment by encouraging critical and creative thinking among youth. Digitally Lit is managed by publishers and Youth Ambassadors in Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
Boyle said the goal is to encourage more young people aged 13 to 25 to read books penned by Atlantic Canadian authors.
She said she is given the books to read and posts her reviews and often comical comments on social media, where many youths are already engaged.
It’s also a way to help showcase Atlantic Canadian authors whose books might others be overshadowed, said Boyle.
“Just because the mainstream are from the U.S. and other countries they are definitely in the shadow of others and we really would love to showcase some of the authors that we have locally,” she said.
Carol Cottrill, the executive director for Laubach Literacy NB, said she supports the initiative.
“One of the reasons, that I think supporting youth literacy is so important is because children value and emulate what their parents do. If half of N.B. adults struggle with literacy, then their children are not seeing their parents reading at home,” said Cottrill, who said about half of adult New Brunswickers will struggle with literacy in some way.
“That can be with reading and writing, comprehension, numeracy, and even digital literacy skills are included in that,” she said.
According to a TD Canada Trust report called Literacy Matters: A Call to Action, almost 40 per cent of Canadian youth do not have suitable literacy skills and that includes young people here in the Maritimes.
“Certainly youth in New Brunswick are not big readers and youth become adults who are not readers,” Cottrill said, which is why she supports any initiative that can get more books into the hands of Maritime youth.
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