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Defining Literacy​​

At Enrich The Mind, we view literacy as more than just reading and writing. We see literacy as a dynamic skill that serves as a tool for social and economic empowerment and allows citizens to be more effective advocates for themselves, their families and communities. Specifically, literacy involves the ability to read, write, comprehend, communicate, and interpret and think critically about printed and written material; and to use numeracy and technology, at a level that enables people to express and understand ideas and opinions, to raise questions, make decisions and solve problems, to achieve their goals, and to participate fully in their community and in the broader society. Achieving literacy is a lifelong learning process therefore children, youth and adults need to have regular access to reading materials to maintain and expand their literacy skills.

Types of Literacy

Literacy is the gateway to successful learning. Children must first learn to read before they can read to learn. Without this solid foundation, they are unable to take full advantage of educational opportunities and are also more likely to become disengaged from the educational process. Literacy also unlocks opportunities and is critical to breaking the pervasive cycle of educational inequality. Therefore improving literacy will go a long way to ensuring that all students, especially the most disadvantaged, have the opportunity to reach their full potential. In addition:

  • Nearly 1 out of 2 youth in Liberia cannot read
  • Literacy is a pathway out of poverty
  • Literacy promotes lifelong learning
  • Literacy empowers youth and promote self-sufficiency
  • Illiteracy reinforces the cycle of poverty
  • Low literacy rates undermine gains in national development
  • Literacy sets the foundation for future education and career success
  • Literacy leads to better health outcomes
  • Literacy is the great equalizer

Types of Literacy

Traditional/Basic Literacy - Reading, writing and arithmetic

Information literacy - The ability to know when there is a need for information and to be able to identify, find, evaluate, and use information effectively (also referred to as digital literacy or media literacy).

Computer Literacy - The ability to use a computer and its software to accomplish practical tasks. 

Literacy Initiatives

To support our goal of increasing the youth literacy rate and building a culture of reading we implement a number of literacy initiatives based on the needs of schools and communities including:

  • Building a modern, state-of-the art public library and learning center in Monrovia (see Projects Page) that provides access to reading materials and resources, and literacy programs for patrons of all ages (see project page)
  • Establishing mobile libraries in under-resourced/rural areas
  • Establishing community/school libraries and computer labs
  • Providing tutoring and literacy programs
  • Providing educational resources, supplies and training (e.g. computers, tablets, books) to under-resourced schools
  • Establishing early childhood literacy initiatives

Enrich the Mind, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization whose goal is to increase the youth literacy rate in Liberia, and ensure that the youth of Liberia are better prepared to succeed academically, enter the workforce, and become productive citizens.

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